Apprenticeships guidance for employers
Use the following checklist to help you follow the sales process.
Before the sale
- Continually source new sales leads - work on the basis of an expected conversion rate of 5 per cent into actual sales. Use the internet, networking and trade magazines to help with this.
- Approach the sales meeting in a professional manner - be polite but persistent, and highlight the immediate benefits to the client, eg cost-savings or increased productivity.
- Prepare for the meeting - conduct thorough research on the client, their customers and their industry. The more knowledgeable and interested you appear, the more likely the client will be to accept your proposals. Rehearse your presentation and prepare for any potential objections.
During the sales meeting
- Set the tone of the appointment by establishing eye contact immediately and reminding the participants of your name, business name and your product or service.
- Have a list of questions to ask the client - to expose gaps or issues in their business that you could solve. Listen carefully and note down any key points, referring back to them in your presentation.
- Match your product or service to their needs in your presentation - make it relevant, interesting and interactive to keep their attention.
- Handle any objections professionally - they usually indicate that the client wants to find out more, and can be used as a way of closing the sale.
Closing the sale
- Don't be afraid to ask for the business - remember that your product or service will help the client run their business more effectively. If you have exposed and dealt with all their objections, this could be a straightforward procedure.
- Use your negotiation skills to define the limits of any order or contract - accept that you may have to compromise but don't be tempted to undersell your product or service.
- Remember to thank the client for the order - it's not only polite, it can confirm the order.
- Ensure you follow up the sale by keeping in regular contact with the client and dealing with any queries quickly and efficiently.
- Deliver on your promises and then use this as a platform to conduct future business, establishing and building a successful relationship. You should also ask the client for referrals to any of their contacts, and for a testimonial to use in future sales activity.