One of your tasks as a product developer or entrepreneur is to organize a selling campaign. You can hire someone to help you but most likely it would be quite expensive. There are many resources available to you, especially on the Internet, to help you learn what you need to do and I believe it will help you to do it yourself, at least the first few times.
The first part of your sales campaign will be arranging a meeting with someone you need to see to make a presentation. People ask me how I arrange meetings at large companies and I tell them I pick up the phone and call! I sometimes have my assistant do some initial research about the company, but if I don’t have a name, I ask the operator for the name of a person in the department I am trying to reach, and that will be my starting point until I find a decision maker to meet with. While that sounds too basic to be true, it is.
Before you can sell your product or service you have to get in the door, but don’t waste your time meeting with someone who does not have the authority to buy your product or service. You need to know quite a bit about the potential buyer before you visit. Is the person the president or an officer of a small company? Or is the person the head of research at a large company? Is the company looking for new ideas? You can ask on the phone, “If you like this product, will you buy it? Do you have the authority to commit your company?”
Next, learn to make presentations before potential customers. You might need help preparing presentation materials, but you should make your own presentation. I recommend arriving on time, being prepared, and bringing at least one other person with you.
Why bring someone else? After the meeting you will need to know exactly what happened during the meeting. I know you think you can remember everything but your attention will be focused on what you’re saying and not on what the audience is saying. Having another pair of ears will help.
Another consideration is that I’ve had some of my models or drawings mysteriously disappear during such meetings. It is unlikely that would happen, but if you have someone with you to keep track of things, the chances are further reduced.
If you have a product or service to sell and a potential buyer gives a true buying signal by asking “How much?” know exactly how much you want; or, at least, exactly what kind of a deal you want. Know the costs involved at your end and be able to intelligently discuss pricing.
Finally, don’t forget that the person you are presenting to represents a company that is doing business to make money. Their bottom line is important to them and if you can show them that your product or service will enhance that bottom line, chances are you will have yourself a deal!
Article – Copyright 2000 Stanley I. Mason. Syndicated by ParadigmTSA