Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Five ways of Getting Client attention - Are you selling like a one club golfer ?

Former Business secretary Lord Peter Mandelson as an aside while promoting a new documentary about his life, got a sound bite quote into the media this week about the coalition government on its spending review.

He said “They are in danger of becoming one club golfers, concentrating on reduction of the deficit".

Golfing metaphors are often quoted in sales training also.

" You drive for show, you putt for doe"
Gary Player's
" The more I practice the luckier I get"

I am no golfer myself but I doubt there is really such a thing as a "one club golfer". Assuredly though one of the differences between amateur and professional golfers is the better selection and use of the full set of clubs in the bag.

A typical bag may contain 1,3 and 5 woods, 3,4,5,6,,9, plus a pitching wedge and sand wedge for the bunkers/sand traps and a putter.
The maximum number of clubs you can take with you in a competition is 14.
Rather than 'one club golfers', professional Jon Darby at Rickmansworth Golf Club told me that beginners often misuse the irons by hitting the ball about the same distance which ever iron is selected.
They don't exploit the different angles that the different irons offer the player.

Click for Rickmansworth Golf Club.

A great first opening shot off the first tee that goes 'straight down the middle' puts pressure on your competition as in golf.

So here are four methods to help you with your opening sales shot. They can be adapted for avariety of selling situations whether face to face, phone, email discourses or even Linked In comment ‘threads’.

1 Factual opening shot: State an interesting fact which relates to either your client contact personally or their business.; the fact will usually relate to your product/ service either directly or indirectly.

e.g. “ One of the main worries today for people approaching retirement is what inflation will do to their pensions”

2. Question Opening shot : ask a question which is relevant to your client’s business and also the purpose of your call.

e.g. “ What are the main concerns you encounter I making sure your exported components arrive safely and undamaged?”

3. Reference opening Shot: build confidence and interest by referring to the experience and satisfaction of another client.

e.g. “ Hammersmith & Fulham, Westminster and RBCK Borough now use our services exclusively and I feel sure that you will want to consider with regard to the current spending review whether you too can benefit from our service. Let me tell you about it”

4. Visual aid opening shot: involve as many of your client’s senses as possible by using , sales literature,
or PowerPoint slide, Working demonstration model, Video, Samples etc

e.g. “ you can from this electronic panel, it is designed for a simple , one touch operation, which means that you have less room for operator error.”

5. The Link Opening shot: ( for follow up and repeat calls): link this call back to a previous conversation or encounter with the client by summarising where you left off last time.

e.g. “ When we met at the exhibition at the Ricoh Arena I promised to give some thought to the particular problem you mentioned and now I believe I have the solution.”N.B. Even in professional golf you can run the risk of carrying too many clubs at the start. A few years in the Open championship of 2001, Champion golfer, Ian Woosnam had two penalty points taken off him for carrying a bag with fifteen clubs by mistake.

So as with selling, a good opening shot that gets us on our way to our hard won successes , it is worth checking your bag before the call that you have the suitable number of opening methods in reserve without over filling your sales bag.

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