Information Technology Consultants and Professionals: How to Avoid Being Seen as Just Another Salesperson

Written by Andrew Neitlich

Continued from page 1

13. Make a business case to persuaderepparttar prospect to hire you. One consulting firm I worked with guaranteed clients a tenfold return on their fees. Showrepparttar 127192 client how much they can save or earn by hiring you. Showrepparttar 127193 clientrepparttar 127194 risks of doing nothing, compared torepparttar 127195 benefits of hiring you.

14. Invite questions, and answer them professionally, without getting defensive. Don't argue withrepparttar 127196 client aboutrepparttar 127197 question or concern. Tell them their point is a good one, and answer by providingrepparttar 127198 truth. Prospects will ALWAYS ask questions, sometimes to object but more often just because they are making a big decision and want to be completely sure that they are makingrepparttar 127199 right choice. They may need you to repeat a point they didn't understand earlier, or they may simply need to hear what you had to say again for reassurance.

15. Showrepparttar 127200 prospect that you are completely committed to his or her success, and that you really want to be hired. Create a sense of team by explaining what "we" can do together. Listen closely. Empathize. Give examples of others you have helped. Tellrepparttar 127201 prospect that you want to work with him or her. Your enthusiasm might be infectious.

16. Don't use fancy sales closing techniques. Any sales training course you take (except mine) teach gimmicky formulas likerepparttar 127202 "double reverse close" orrepparttar 127203 "ABC three-step close." Your clients are too savvy for this garbage. If you use these techniques, they will immediately recognize you as an inauthentic, untrustworthy hawker of questionable services and products. Instead, letrepparttar 127204 prospect make up his or her own mind about what to do. For instance, don't askrepparttar 127205 client, "When should we start?" or "As you can see, I can solve your problem; just sign this contract." Instead, putrepparttar 127206 decision in their hands by saying, "Fromrepparttar 127207 information I've provided, I sincerely hope that you understandrepparttar 127208 importance of acting now."

17. Don't accept a sale unless you can deliver, want to dorepparttar 127209 work, andrepparttar 127210 work will advance your business. Closing a bad deal forrepparttar 127211 sake of a deal is a recipe for disaster. I worked with a client who won a contract with a major metropolitan county health system. My client knew thatrepparttar 127212 county was highly political, and thatrepparttar 127213 project would stretch every resource he had in his small firm. But he was blinded byrepparttar 127214 size ofrepparttar 127215 contract. Within three months,repparttar 127216 county maderepparttar 127217 clientrepparttar 127218 scapegoat for all of their problems, and his firm's name was posted in allrepparttar 127219 local papers. Six months later, he had to lay off half his staff because he had no work. Be willing to say "no."

18. Follow up. Ifrepparttar 127220 prospect hires you, thank him or her and provide reassurance that they made an excellent decision. Send a thank you note soon after. Ifrepparttar 127221 prospect doesn't hire you, politely remind him or her ofrepparttar 127222 potential costs of not moving forward quickly, suggest rapid action, and let him or her know that you are always available for additional questions or advice.

Andrew Neitlich is the Senior Editor of The IT Accelerator, the newsletter that helps information technology professionals and consultants to attract more clients and projects. Subscribe at

Secrets of Promotion

Written by Christopher Given Dip in Bus Admin, Cert in Mgt, ACMI

Continued from page 1

A lot of time, effort and energy will be spent on encouraging prospective customers to contact your organisation. When they do call, everything about their contact must go well. This call represents a range of opportunities, from an immediate order to securing follow up business forrepparttar future.

We will now look at how to make this kind of call sales focused.

Your voice is an important asset. But it's not enough just to be well spoken and polite; every call must be treated as if there is a genuine purchaser atrepparttar 127191 end ofrepparttar 127192 phone line. You need to go about it in a way that makes what is being offered truly beneficial.

Every call needs planning.

Advantages of planning

§it overcomes nervousness §it assists ability to think/react more quickly §it helps prevent being sidetracked §the call is more customer focused

This will help you deal with most situations that occur without floundering. Long pauses and extended time while thinking makes you seem unprepared and unprofessional. Planning and practice isrepparttar 127193 key. Do not adopt a scripted approach (customers will spot this at once and do not like), you should respond, yet controlrepparttar 127194 direction ofrepparttar 127195 call towards a specific objective. Please remember to be genuine when dealing with people, customer service and sales is obvious - you cannot avoid or disguise a sale, because sooner or laterrepparttar 127196 customer will want to know aboutrepparttar 127197 nature of your call. Ifrepparttar 127198 customer senses that you are just there to sell them something, they may not feel you have their best interests at heart and will go elsewhere because of it.


§Have product literature and customer details at hand §Make sure you're aware of objectives §Know your product/service inside out §Be ready to handle objections §Listen to whatrepparttar 127199 customer wants

Now, if you haverepparttar 127200 customer's attention and they are willing to talk at some length,repparttar 127201 sale is actually almost complete. The intention is now to conductrepparttar 127202 call inrepparttar 127203 way you want (make it persuasive), yet make it a callrepparttar 127204 customer enjoys too (it meets their expectations). Don't think you will make a sale every time. It is unrealistic plus you will set yourself up for failure,repparttar 127205 art is to provoke interest, not to badger.

First reply

When answeringrepparttar 127206 first call, you must make a link to what is being said there, avoid repetition of information likerepparttar 127207 customer's organisation name, if it has just been mentioned. Have a pad and pen handy for note taking - A MUST

The purpose ofrepparttar 127208 first reply

§To welcomerepparttar 127209 customer and put them at ease §To make it clear you are there to assist them and not just sell them something §Giverepparttar 127210 feeling of effectiveness - makes you look effective

Include a greeting - ‘Good Morning' - clearly state your company name, personal name and end with ‘How can I help you' Listen to whatrepparttar 127211 enquiry is about and then move on promptly to what you can offer.

Importance of Communication

Communication is a complex area for discussion, because we are usingrepparttar 127212 very function to study itself. Communication isrepparttar 127213 transfer of an idea, in my mind, to yours, so hopefully, it will be understood. Good communication occurs when ideas are transferred and understood. Bad communication has many causes, but it involvesrepparttar 127214 non-arrival of a message orrepparttar 127215 arrival of an inaccurate message.

Care should therefore be taken to ensure thatrepparttar 127216 language used is withinrepparttar 127217 understanding ofrepparttar 127218 receiver. One ofrepparttar 127219 most common problems of communication is not taking responsibility to understandrepparttar 127220 message. If I throw a ball to you, you will need to catch it in order for us to winrepparttar 127221 game. So, who's responsibility is it for us to win that game? The answer is both ours. Let's assume I throwrepparttar 127222 ball, and you drop it, is it my fault if you fail to catch it? You, asrepparttar 127223 catcher may think so, especially if you fumblerepparttar 127224 ball. I may have thrown it too fast orrepparttar 127225 direction may be slightly more torepparttar 127226 right than left. Then I may feel I've maderepparttar 127227 best attempt to throw, so that you may catch it, so I will blame you if it is missed. This isrepparttar 127228 usual way people see things, people always blame each other for silly things that could be put right or avoided altogether. All it takes is a little thinking about what is being said and how you say it.

Once we know how to communicate, we need to find out a customer's needs and wants, if cutomer service and sales can be attempted at all.

This article forms part of my e-book, and is available by contacting me.

Christopher Given is a Marketing and Promotion Expert.

He's worked for Major UK organisations such as Taylor Nelson Sofres Marketing, Olympus Sport International in total 10+ companies in all.

This article can be used by anyone providing the link to website isn't removed.

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