Prospecting is tedious, but such an integral component of the sales process. Sales persons typically dislike this part of their job, given their natural need for “being out there and smoozing with the customer”. As you can see from Glenn Haussman’s points (excerpted below in part, and in the article link at the end of my blog), he too emphasizes the importance of tailoring your communication style to the wants and needs of your customer AND the importance of pre-contact research!
In previous blogs, I suggested that you put together a cheat sheet to use when prospecting. Adding the question, “what is your preferred method of communication” will give you an insight into the hows and whys of this person’s style and hopefully the confidence that you care enough to value his time and methods!
“The buyer supplier relationship is always a tricky one. Especially when it comes to deciphering how a specific buyer prefers to be communicated with. Essentially, every person is different and they want to be communicated with in different ways at different times. Talk about a moving target!
At this year’s BITAC F&B East, our attendees made it clear that the pathway to a successful buyer-supplier relationship is one that has no set formula, but changes from person to person. People want to be communicated with in many different ways. But it is not just the method in which you communicate such as phone or email, but the message being delivered.”
“As an industry buyer, Lisa Ghai, Manager, Hotel Purchasing with Royal Caribbean Cruises said suppliers need to think generationally. “There is a mix of generations and people want to be communicated to in ways that most appeal to them. So you have to tailor you approach to every customer,” Ghai explained.
Nick Bellini, VP Business Development with Sambonet USA/Rosenthal USA, said it’s critical to think of news ways to connect with buyers and sometimes the new ways harken back to earlier days.
“Emails are not the best way to communicate anymore because people are inundated with emails. To stand out you need to go back to the old school way and make phone calls,” said Bellini. And another old school tip; speak to that person’s assistant to find out when they will be behind their desk.
Ben McGill, National Accounts Manager, Steelite International America, said that for a quick response text is OK, but said to make the most impact when you get a chance to interact with a potential client you better know that company pretty well.
“I research all my customers deeply because you have to rethink about the way you are communicating and get them to understand you know their business,” said McGill. “You need to make sure they understand the benefits of your product too so that the buyer knows for sure they are not making a mistake with their company’s money.”
Ghai agrees. “There are suppliers that do not take the time to even visit our website. If you want to do business with me you should know about our brand, and understand the basic differences. I am happy to educate suppliers but they should have an understanding of our company.”
If you want to perfect your prospecting and communication skills, take note of these tips and integrate them into your processes!
If you want to read the entire article, follow this link: http://www.hotelinteractive.com/article.aspx?articleid=31960