Keeping customers engaged is essential for building a highly profitable recurring revenue business. You need a practice that can help you cultivate a relationship with your customer and deliver your solutions' full potential. One of the most important skills needed to achieve these goals is mastering the discovery phase of the sales process.
10 tips to make your initial sales meeting count
The discovery phase is generally handled during the initial customer meeting. It’s critical to ask lots of questions (up to 50% of the meeting time) to truly understand the customer’s environment, while leaving enough time to focus on uncovering any potential opportunities and scheduling a follow-up meeting.
Here are 10 tips to follow to ensure a successful first meeting:
How Ingram Micro can help you transform customer engagement
- Research your prospective customer’s business ahead of time, so you can understand their challenges and interests.
- Check your engineer’s availability before your sales meeting so you can be prepared to schedule the follow-up appointment at the end of the sales meeting.
- Show up early and bring printed materials to leave behind.
- Dress professionally for the first meeting unless you’re certain the customer follows a casual dress code.
- Try to build rapport during the introductory phase. Find common ground when possible.
- Make sure you’ve learned all the basic information about a client’s environment before making recommendations.
- Use your computer to take notes, but ask if it’s okay first.
- Periodically “deflate the balloon” by asking follow-ups like: “Anything else?” Or, “What else can you tell me about your core?” Also, occasionally pausing after taking notes can prompt the client to fill dead space with additional, more relevant information.
- Don’t focus on selling something; instead, focus on educating the client on where you can help them.
- Always schedule the follow-up meeting before you leave.
Ingram Micro is committed to helping you achieve your sales goals and transforming engagement. We have several programs, tools and services available to our partners, such as:
- Sales training—We’ve partnered with Techrategy, a leading sales training provider, to offer our partners a special three-hour training that includes free access to Techrategy’s training and sales resources. Techrategy training will enable your reps to better understand technology, so they can educate your clients and generate business.
- Practice builder workshops—A unique blend of self-assessment, expert consulting and community building, all designed to build expertise in your chosen track, resulting in tangible business outcomes at the end of the engagement.
- Lifecycle management and renewals—RenewVue is Ingram Micro’s innovative renewal management resource that gives partners visibility to licensed product renewals ahead of license expiration dates.
- Business Transformation Center (BTC) training—We’re currently hosting 26-minute virtual training sessions to help you understand technology better and learn how to sell business outcomes.
We have the resources and support you need to plan, build, scale and monetize your sales practice. We’ll even help you take advantage of Cisco content, programs and specializations to ensure you have the right people, processes and tools in place to drive business value throughout your entire customer lifecycle.
There isn’t a single formula for transforming customer engagement, and change doesn’t happen overnight. The important thing is to get started. Check out the latest Cisco content at the Cisco Virtual Learning (CVL) resource center by Ingram Micro: https://imaginenext.ingrammicro.com/cisco-virtual-learning
and reach out to our customer success (CX) team for help building or accelerating your CX practice today: CiscoCX@ingrammicro.com