Outside Sales: A Process and Script for Salespeople
Ok, so you are in outside sales, and you are being pressured to spend more time in the field and less time in the office doing “whatever”. No problem, just go out in the field more, meet more people, right? If you are in outside sales, you are already doing lots of activities, cold calling, emailing, texting, all these things just to find prospects. Using this process we have worked with lots of outside salespeople and had them multiply their effectiveness in the field by 3-5X using this process.
Step 1 – Compress Your Focus Instead of setting a few appointments a day and running them in a way that makes you inefficient, this will help you put more people closely together. I suggest you spend Monday and Tuesday in the office making cold calls or sending introductory emails to people in your territory. This should sound something like this;
“Hello (Prospect Name), my name is (your name) and I am the community outreach specialist with (Company Name). I’m responsible for meeting all of the businesses in our community and getting to know who you are and what you do. I was calling because from my records, we have yet to meet. I am going to be in your area (Wednesday, Thursday or Friday) and wanted to know if it would be easier to drop by before or after lunch and say hello?”
This is very light, non aggressive, and allows for alternate of choice selling and not an open ended close. The likely response you will hear is simply an answer, or sometimes a little probing to see what you do or what you will talk about in the visit. Be prepared to answer these questions as well.
Step 2 – 5X Your Meeting Now that you have someone who has agreed to have you stop by, use the meeting as an excuse to make 5 introductions. If you had a 6 pack of your favorite beverage on a table in front of you with 3 cans facing you and 3 cans facing away, this business represents the can in the middle facing you. If you were standing on the porch of that business/can, and looked out at the companies around it, there would be a neighbor on each side and 3 companies across the street. This makes 5 more businesses that might have someone for you to meet in walking proximity to your appointment. For these meetings, you would simply walk in and say;
“I was just out here visiting with (your neighbors name) as the community outreach specialist for (Company Name). I figured while I was out here I’d pop in, take your card, give you mine and meet you as well since we haven’t met yet either.”
Step 3 – Build Your List When you are doing this visit, you should take the card from the manager you meet with at the business. If they don’t have a card, write down an email address (if you are in sales I assume you have paper and a pen with you, or at the very least, somewhere on your phone you keep notes). Then you will add them to your contact list by saying something like this;
“It’s nice to meet you (Say their name), and we don’t send out a lot of information but since I have your card, would it bother you tremendously if I were to email you from time to time to stay in touch?”
This will allow you to stay in front of this person digitally for as long as you are in the position at that company.
Step 4 – Stay Consistent Some outside salespeople have a whole state or half the country they can sell in, others just a few zip codes. This means you will eventually run out of leads and will have to go back to these same companies. You should try to circle back around to a company about 3 to 4 times a year. You can’t expect much from someone that meets you the first time…but if I see you consistently and know you’re gonna pop in again in a few months, I get to see a stable employee happy at a stable company…which increases my chances of making a purchase.
Step 5 – Network As an outside salesperson you should try to spend as much time as you can at networking events that help your business and grow your prospect list. Try doing things like BNI or Meetup.com where you can be in front of people that you wouldn’t meet in other places. Go to these meetings consistently and be a pleasant person. After all, people like to buy from people they like.
Use this process to set more meetings in the field, multiply them by 5, stay consistent and win more business.