Randy Steyer, Director of Enterprise Sales at Simplus, and Amy Cook, CMO at Simplus, sat down to talk about the dos and don’ts on engaging enterprise-level prospects and how to nail down those big deals. Here are some of the key tips and tricks from Randy:
Have something in place
You should already have something small in place, some sort of entry-level engagement either completed or in process before you hit a company like Facebook or Google cold. You can’t call a large account and ask them to be on their vendor list, pretty please. You have to have that project, and you have to get that master service agreement signed. That may take several months even if you have a current project.
Spending a reasonable amount of time researching is a vital aspect of finding a voice once you’re at the table. What can you postulate about your prospect’s needs and priorities from their online presence? Warm referrals go a long, long way. As the old idiom, it’s who you know not what you know. If you don’t already have an in, make mutual connections, but don’t use and abuse them. Make it a low lift for them to introduce you. Perhaps you can draft the introduction email yourself?
Become a better listener
A lot of today’s salespeople think they are good listeners, but they’re not. A good rule of thumb is if you think you are, think again. “They just focus on selling. That’s not good,” said Randy. “Don’t be that person that spin their wheels. Listen and provide.” If you want that big deal, you need to find a real solution, not merely maneuver your prospect into something they don’t need.
Slow your conversations down. Salespeople tend to be pretty talkative, charismatic people with lots of opinions and ideas—a worthy trait that can sometimes, if unchecked, turn your conversation into a presentation. Don’t interrupt. Not only is it rude, but it means you don’t care what your prospect is telling you and it’s a tell-tell sign that you’re just here to sell them on your cookie-cutter solution. Plus, if you interrupt, you could miss something exciting or essential to nailing the deal. Make sure to Clarify and paraphrase. I can’t say it enough. Listen to their emotions. Words are not always the most accurate representation of what a prospect is feeling. Make sure to ask the right questions, not just any questions. Most salespeople know how to boil down to pain points, but it takes a great salesperson to narrow it down fast and in a way that builds trust. And make sure to bring in those anecdotes. Believe me. You will stand out if you remember to bring in those tiny nuances from the meeting and refer back to them later. It is incredible how much of an impact this can make on someone.
Prepare, prepare, prepare
Nothing is worse than showing up for a meeting and not being prepared. You need to know who’s going to be in the person signing it and are they in town. You need to know who all the decision-makers are. The more you know, the better off you’ll be. And that goes with just about everything in life.
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