The Green Sheet Online Edition
December 11, 2017 • Issue 17:12:01
Five way to put your best foot forward
We've all heard the saying, "You only get one chance to make a first impression." Variations on this phrase have been attributed to Will Rogers and Oscar Wilde, as well as to advertising campaigns for men's suits and dandruff shampoo, among others. A recent Amazon search produced 2,413 books with "first impression" in the title. The critical importance of first impressions is known by people in all walks of life. In the payments industry and most other business realms, awareness is virtually universal.
For the industry's hard-working feet on the street, the sales presentation is often the first opportunity an ISO or merchant level salesperson (MLS) has to make that all-important first impression. Some pros have done a multitude of presentations and have thereby become so skilled that they feel they could do them in their sleep.
Advice from a veteran
When you reach this point, it's time to review and then adjust what you do and say during your presentations to make sure you continue to do your best. Indeed, for experienced MLSs and newbies alike, this kind of analysis should be ongoing. In Good Selling!SM:The Basics, Paul H. Green offered five tips for top-notch presentations. They are paraphrased as follows:
- Ask for questions: Don't wait until the presentation is over to request questions. Tell the merchant to interrupt you whenever a question or a point of procedure needs to be clarified. That way, your prospect is involved in your presentation, and it becomes interactive. And if the merchant isn't asking questions, ask them yourself. For example, say, "You may be wondering how your store will close out a day's transactions." Then explain how it works.
- Stress your important points: The average consumer must see an ad a number of times before being motivated to make a buying decision. Therefore, don't be afraid to repeat your important points during your presentation. Pick two or three points you want to get across.
- Be honest: Don't tell a merchant something just because you know it's what he or she wants to hear. Stick to the facts and remain honest, and you won't have to worry that what you promise or describe conflicts with what is possible. Focusing on honest business practices will allow you to make the most sales and have the most satisfied customers.
- Channel your energy: If you get nervous, use that energy to your advantage. Channel your adrenaline and harness your anxiety to add enthusiasm to your presentation.
- Stand up straight: Good posture will add credibility to you and your service. Show your prospect that you're proud to represent your company, have faith in your service and be confident in your own selling skills.
These steps assume you have done your homework, both on your offerings and on your prospect's business needs. However, don't assume you have all the answers when it comes to the latter, because your understanding of the merchant's situation will deepen as you welcome interaction and listen to what the merchant reveals.
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