Approaching the prospect
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Approaching the Prospect. Learning Objectives: Discover the purpose of the approach. Learn the importance of first impressions and ways to control them as a means of improving your performance. Understand how surface language affects the ability to establish rapport with a prospect.

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Approaching the prospect
Approaching the Prospect

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover the purpose of the approach.

  • Learn the importance of first impressions and ways to control them as a means of improving your performance.

  • Understand how surface language affects the ability to establish rapport with a prospect.

  • Examine the elements of the greeting and how to control them.

  • Discover ways to get the attention and capture the interest of the prospect.

  • Explore different types of approaches and understand the best circumstances in which to use each one.


Purpose of the approach
Purpose of the Approach

  • To make a favorable or positive impression on the prospect

  • To gain the prospect’s undivided attention

  • To develop positive interest in your proposition

  • To lead smoothly into the need discovery phase of the interview

First impressions
First Impressions

  • Weaknesses of first impressions:

    • Tend to be based on emotions

    • All behavioral traits do not show up immediately

    • Behavior may be deliberately controlled by either party

    • An earlier event may influence either person’s current behavior

Four minutes is the average

time that prospects take to decide whether to buy from you.

Nonverbal language
Nonverbal Language

  • Includes all aspects of appearance: grooming, clothing, accessories, and posture

  • Affects first impressions even though it may actually provide limited or shallow insight into the true person

  • Dress the part - We all wear uniforms

    • Choose accessories carefully

    • Dress appropriately

    • Give attention to grooming

Nonverbal language1
Nonverbal Language

Basic Dress Guidelines for Men and Women

Nonverbal language2
Nonverbal Language

  • You’re projecting an image

    • Want the prospect to take you seriously

    • Work with your physical characteristics

  • Some accessory tips

    • Jewelry should be neutral and not related to an association or belief

    • Should be of good quality

      • High quality pens

      • Leather attaché cases

    • Avoid sunglasses while talking to prospects

Dressed to sell
Dressed to Sell

  • Salespeople suffer from “business confusion syndrome” when it comes to deciding just what is corporate casual.

  • Professional is the key word to remember. Look good but don’t overdo it.

  • Avoid dressing too casual or “youthful.” Instead, your clothes should reflect your position.

The proper greeting
The Proper Greeting

  • Choice of greeting

    • The Rule of Ten - the first 10 words should include a form of thanks

    • Don’t use worn-out greetings

    • Plan the proper greeting ahead of time and keep it simple

    • Failure to prepare in advance could lead to stammering or faltering speech

The proper greeting1
The Proper Greeting

  • The handshake helps determine personality style:

    • Drivers - firm, may turn hand over yours

    • Amiables - may not make eye contact

  • The handshake is one of the first nonverbal signals you give and receive

The proper greeting2
The Proper Greeting

  • Rules for an effective handshake:

    • Maintain eye contact for the duration of the handshake

    • You may wait for the prospect to initiate the handshake

    • Apply firm, consistent pressure on the hand. Avoid the wet-fish or bone-crusher handshakes

    • If your palm tends to be moist from nervousness, carry a special handkerchief with powder and pat your hand several times

    • The hands should meet equidistant between the prospect and the salesperson in a vertical position.

The proper greeting3
The Proper Greeting

Use of the prospect’s name…The sweetest and most important sound in any language

  • Pay attention - get it spelled and pronounced correctly

  • Concentrate on a person’s memorable characteristics

  • Associate - any gimmick that works

  • Observe and visualize

  • Repeat the name often

The proper greeting4
The Proper Greeting

  • Use their first name or more formal name based on:

    • Relative ages

    • Prevailing custom in the region or country where you sell

    • Type of product or industry

    • Your conclusions about their behavioral style

Small talk or get down to business
Small Talk or Get Down to Business

Relationship tension is common in the beginning.

  • The purpose of small talk

    • Gain an advantageous, positive beginning that will break the ice and ease tension

    • “Warm up” a cold environment

    • Provides additional information

  • Small talk can be negative if it conflicts with prospect’s social style

Types of approaches
Types of Approaches

  • Self-Introduction Approach

    • Weakest approach by itself

    • Address the prospect by name (pronouncing it correctly)

    • State your name and company

    • Present your business card

  • Consumer-Benefit Approach

    • Give the prospect a reason to listen

    • Suggest a risk for failure to listen

Types of approaches1
Types of Approaches

  • Curiosity Approach

    • You should know something about the prospect

    • Ask questions whose answers will reflect favorably on your product/service

  • Question Approach

    • Quickly establishes two-way communication

    • Enables you to apply the benefits of your product or service

  • Qualifying Question Approach

    • Seeks a commitment from a prospect

    • Determine if prospect is cold, lukewarm, or red-hot

  • Types of approaches2
    Types of Approaches

    • Compliment Approach

      • Signals your honest interest in the prospect

      • Make it sincere, specific, and of genuine interest

  • Referral Approach

    • Helps you establish leverage by borrowing the influence of someone the prospect trusts and respects

  • Education Approach

    • Show your knowledge of trends in their industry or market

    • Would work well in a virtual meeting

  • Types of approaches3
    Types of Approaches

    • Product Approach

      • Hand the product, or some physical representation of it to produce a positive reaction

      • It stirs interest

      • Permits a demonstration

      • Makes a multiple sense appeal

      • If bringing the actual product is not feasible, you must use other devices:

        • A piece of literature

        • A sample of the output of the machine

        • A small working model

        • A picture