Saturday noon turned into an eye opening session with Mr. Sathish Nair – the Regional Sales Director at HCL Technologies and a visiting lecturer at the Chennai Business School.
Fear of the unknown?
The session started with the brief introduction around the room and Mr. Nair began it by asking who likes sales, who wouldn’t want to be in sales and who has already done sales. Upon taking a poll, Mr. Nair said there are three major challenges a salesman experiences. The first being the fear of unknown. A cold call is a tricky business and we always fear that it might not be successful. The second fear is achieving targets! Sales people are given certain targets to be achieved within a certain time. The number sometimes might be unachievable and it ignites fear within us. The third fear is the most common challenge that all of us face in our day to day lives, the work pressure! We are surrounded by people who put various kinds of pressure on us and expect us to do beyond what is required. We even had Hollywood movie references where he showed us how subtly yet powerfully, we make sales pitches everyday!
So without further delay, here is what we learnt today!
Steps to Rock It in Sales!
#1: Researching prospects – Before approaching a prospect, ensure you have gathered enough data about the client and the person whom we are approaching. The prospects’ standing in the market, competitors and if they will benefit from your business need to be assessed before narrowing down the list to probable potential clients.
#2: Planning meeting – Even a single call is scheduled months in advance when two CXOs have a conversation. There is a brief that is sent to the CXO about the agenda of the call and the purpose of the same. Mr. Nair urged that we need prepare for meetings with effectiveness of the same in mind.
#3: Building Rapport – Rapid relation building is something that eludes even the top management sometimes. There are even trainings held in organizations to develop this crucial skill. Building a good rapport with your client will help in smoothening out any frayed ends in case one appears. One must definitely see what value they can add to the business relationship in order to have a smooth sailing transaction.
#4: Asking questions – Asking the right kind of questions is very important to hold a conversation when you meet the top men/ women of the organization. Tact is something that needs to be used in abundance and deriving conclusions from the answers given is something one needs to develop.
#5: Listening actively – When you are meeting someone to discuss business, take down notes. It is not easy to latch on to every little word. The trick is to remember the buzzwords and important points of the conversation so that you can bring it forth in future conversations.
#6: Presenting solutions – Providing the right kind of solution for the right kind of hurdle the client is facing is paramount! If you are meeting with the R&D head, ensure you take pointers from the subject matter expert before going to the meeting with them. If necessary, you can even put the expert forward to have a discussion with the client.
#7: Asking for commitment – Never leave a meeting without a commitment. The client has agreed to signing with you? Ask him when that can be done. The client asks to meet you, ask him you can meet.
#8: Relationship management – Client management does not end with signing the deal. One must always look for ways in which the value delivery is raised up to a notch. Best thing is to have a few big clients that power your business and develop great relationship with them.
The session concluded with us being more open to Sales and not being afraid to try our hands at it. Today was an eye opener session for all of us as we understood the nuances of sales and how much of thought and effort goes into pushing the sales of an organization. We thank Mr. Sathish Nair for taking his time off his weekend to come to our organization and give us a deeper understanding of what all goes into making a sales pitch! 🙂