Need a Direct Sales Strategy? Step 4: Next Steps
You are at a direct sales event. You’ve stopped a stranger passing by with a Sales Icebreaker. You’ve introduced yourself, the company you are with and/or the product you are selling in 2-3 short sentences (the Quick Intro). You’ve conducted a Lead Interview to determine if you are talking to someone likely to buy from you.
Now? It’s time to determine Next Steps!
By Step #4, you’ve got a pretty good idea if the person in front of you is a good lead. Based on this information, it’s time to identify ‘Next Steps.’
Next Steps is the time when you finally meet one or more of your sales goals. Examples of sales goals might include: Giving out a free product sample; Scheduling a follow-up conversation; Signing the potential customer to view a demo; Making the sale!
Create Sales Goals: Key to a Direct Sales Strategy
Your company should decide on clear sales goals before any direct sales event. Sales goals often come from what’s called a ‘Sales Funnel.’
A Sales Funnel represents the customer’s journey from being aware of your company (in society at large) to taking action and purchasing your product.
Experienced companies will often have a pretty clear idea what their sales funnels look like. If you are a new company or have never really thought about your customer’s journey, you’ll want to do that before your direct sales event.
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Sales Goals: Blender Company Example
For instance, an high-end blender company might know that in general their customers’ journey to purchase looks like this:
- Awareness: Customer realizes they need a new new blender. They look at Consumer Reports and see your company listed as a trusted vendor for blenders.
- First Contact: Customer goes to Amazon.com and look at reviews for your blender. Or, they visit a store that sell blenders and see yours in person.
- Conversation: Customer goes to company’s website or YouTube to see a video demo
- Purchase: Customer purchases blender in store, online or at a tradeshow
In their Sales Funnel, the blender company sees that most customers want to see the following information before a blender purchase:
- company credibility (buyers’ guide reference)
- customer reviews
- product demo
Sales Goals at the Direct Sales Event?
If that blender company was planning to attend a direct sales event (say, a homeshow) their Sales Goals might include:
- Buyer’s Guide: Give customer copy of buyer’s guide referencing company
- Product Reviews: Give customer a handout of product reviews gathered from various sources praising company’s blender
- Demo: Invite or signup customer to view a live demo at the direct sales event
- Sell the blender from the show floor
Suggest Next Steps that meets Direct Sales Goals
If you discover during the Lead Interview that the person you are speaking with isn’t a good lead, you’ll want to end the conversation. However, before saying goodbye, you still have the option to suggest a Next Step that meets a direct sales goal.
For instance, maybe the person isn’t a good lead because they aren’t convinced yet that they need your product. You might sign them up for a demo to see how much better your product is than the competition. By doing so, you are suggesting a Next Step that gets you closer to a possible sale by addressing the uncertainty.
From Next Steps to Step 5: Disengage!
Once you suggested a Next Step that meets one or more Direct Sales Goals, it’s time to Disengage! The Disengagement is the step that ends your conversation– at least for now!
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