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

Written by Andrew Neitlich

Here are tips for information technology professionals to meet with prospects without being seen as an annoying salesperson:

1. Don't make cold calls. An unsolicited phone call isrepparttar easiest tip-off to a prospect that you are a salesperson. How do you react when strangers call you by phone? Instead, develop an information- and trust-based marketing plan that influences prospects to CALL YOU. You do this by offering educational, valuable information that helps your target market address key problems and opportunities related to your area of expertise. You offer this information in any number of ways: seminars, your web site, newsletters, audio programs, videos, articles, and publications.

2. Only give your business card to a prospect if asked. Otherwise, you will be perceived as somebody with something to sell.

3. For business prospects, do research prior to any meeting. Learn everything you can aboutrepparttar 127192 prospect's organization and situation.

4. Consider getting videotaped to see how you really come across in meetings. I have videotaped a number of IT professionals in mock prospect meetings, andrepparttar 127193 experience is almost always illuminating!

5. Make sure that during meetings with prospects, 75% of your sentences are questions. Ask questions to understandrepparttar 127194 prospect's situation, what it is costing him or her, how long they have hadrepparttar 127195 problem, what else they have tried, what will happen if they don't do anything, and numerous other questions to help you thoroughly understandrepparttar 127196 issues.

6. Listen closely, with your undivided attention. Turn off your cell phone and pager, and eliminate any interruptions. Otherwise, you give your prospectrepparttar 127197 impression that they are not important now, and will not be important if they hire you.

7. Try to adapt your style torepparttar 127198 prospect's style in order to build rapport and make them feel comfortable. Sense their mood, how fast or slow they talk, whether they focus on business or technical issues, and their body language.

8. Make eye contact. Don't look down, or at other things inrepparttar 127199 room.

9. Empathize by stepping intorepparttar 127200 prospect's shoes. Nothing is more powerful than to be able to reflect backrepparttar 127201 prospect's frustration with his or her problem. Similarly, instead of saying, "Here is what you should do…." say, "If I were in your shoes, I would…"

10. Focus on specific business results, not technology. Your prospect wants a result that will help his or her situation. Technology is a means to that end. If you focus onrepparttar 127202 resultrepparttar 127203 prospect wants to achieve, then you can have an open and honest discussion about whether you can get that result.

11. Do not makerepparttar 127204 prospect feel stupid. For instance, ifrepparttar 127205 client is not tech-savvy, don't use jargon. One client of mine developed an IT glossary to give to prospects, which was a great way to make them feel comfortable.

12. Once you understandrepparttar 127206 client's situation, offer your experience ofrepparttar 127207 problem, suggest solutions, and show how you have helped others in similar situations before. Try to create a sense of urgency by explaining what it will costrepparttar 127208 client if they don't act quickly. Do all of this in a way that educates and informsrepparttar 127209 client, without any gimmicks or tricks.

Secrets of Promotion

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

Secrets of Promotion by Christopher Given Dip in Bus Admin, Cert in Mgt, ACMI

Sales does not have a very nice image. Salesmen ringing up out ofrepparttar blue to sell their latest product, untrained or unenthusiastic sales staff knocking at your door, are some ofrepparttar 127191 images that spring to mind.

But service doesn't need to be like that in order to makerepparttar 127192 sale.

What is Customer Service?

"Customer Service isrepparttar 127193 supply of that which satisfiesrepparttar 127194 consumer need and want"

This is about providing a physical product plus allrepparttar 127195 individual tasks that make uprepparttar 127196 entire process. Please do not confuse service with sales, as they are totally different.

"Sales isrepparttar 127197 use of language and presentation in order to persuade customers to buy"

Elements of customer service

Availability of item

After sales service

Handling of orders

Reliability or quality

Most organisations employ people to handle customer calls, emails and to wait on customer's needs The functions are to:

§be there when customers contactrepparttar 127198 company

§provide timely and accurate service

§supportrepparttar 127199 sales organisation

All of this is designed for one purpose - Customer Retention

Who isrepparttar 127200 customer?

We usually think of customers as people outside of our company. It could be agreed that a customer is a person who purchases. Another definition could be someone with whom we have dealings.

Customers fall into external and internal types:

External customers

These arerepparttar 127201 lifeblood of every organisation. We deal with them every day, either face to face or viarepparttar 127202 telephone. You may have heard sayings like ‘the customer is king' or ‘customers are our no 1 priority'. Well, it's true, because without them there would be no sales, no company and no job.

Internal customers

These people work inside your company. Although they are not traditional customers, they rely on us to provide services and help withinrepparttar 127203 organisation in order to get their work done. It is vital that they are treated well, not only because we have to work together, but if we upset one anotherrepparttar 127204 next time we require each others services, either party could be reluctant to carry out their duties, which could effectrepparttar 127205 business as a whole. Not professional behaviour at all. And if work is held up because of conflict,repparttar 127206 eventual loser is alwaysrepparttar 127207 customer.

Worth and Price

Businesses need to make a profit in order to survive. Assuming that products are of excellent quality, have been tested and market research has been done, clearly establishing a need and want, then all we need to do is to sell. However, there is one obstacle -repparttar 127208 customer.

Every person will consider whatrepparttar 127209 product is worth to them before purchasing. The price has to be just right before they will buy. One definition of price could be:

The price isrepparttar 127210 sum, consideration or sacrifice given in exchange for goods and services.

An organisation will price a product and that price would suggest it's worth torepparttar 127211 company. But, imaginerepparttar 127212 customer likesrepparttar 127213 product, but notrepparttar 127214 price -repparttar 127215 customer now thinksrepparttar 127216 product isn't worth purchasing at that price. In other words, Something is only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. The customer may have been put offrepparttar 127217 purchase becauserepparttar 127218 price was too high. This means a balance needs to be made betweenrepparttar 127219 price andrepparttar 127220 benefits/features ofrepparttar 127221 product.

The company can either lowerrepparttar 127222 price and produce more sales that way, or it can makerepparttar 127223 product more attractive by e.g. adding more functionality or re-designing to make it unique in some way, this wayrepparttar 127224 product can maintain it's current price. Either way,repparttar 127225 customer will be satisfied.

Personal selling is about communicating with people, and knowing something about ways in which they can react in different situations will help you to approach them, and find out whether their a serious purchaser, require more information or just browsing. Let's assume for a moment that we know how to sell effectively. Businesses have external visitors that contact them by different means. They will:

·userepparttar 127226 telephone to enquire about products ·visitrepparttar 127227 company website

We will tackle these in order.

1. Handling inbound calls

Every thing an organisation does will be noticed byrepparttar 127228 customer at some point. From producing a web site to answeringrepparttar 127229 telephone, everything must be executed to a high standard in order to generaterepparttar 127230 most favourable impression. When customers enterrepparttar 127231 business premises, they will gain an impression of howrepparttar 127232 organisation operates,repparttar 127233 value it offers and this includesrepparttar 127234 quality or level of service. And one ofrepparttar 127235 ways customer service will be noticed, is viarepparttar 127236 use ofrepparttar 127237 telephone.

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