Sunday, March 11, 2007

CLIMBING UP THE CAREER LADDER: Know What to Do in a Business Meeting

The business world has its own set of protocols to guide you to success.

So you have to know what to do in a business meeting.

A business meeting is one of its aspects that can bring out the best and worst in your corporate persona. From product presentations to negotiating accounts receivables, a simple meeting is like being the star in a Broadway play. Every action you make will have an impact into your proposal. Consequently, you will be evaluated and judged all in one sitting. So how do you become a master in this corporate ‘song-and-dance’?

• Be prepared. Not only do you have to know your material inside out but you have to anticipate their reaction to it. Make notes ahead on the possible questions the other side would have. Bring all the possible material that you might need to refer to. On the day of the presentation, take pains in your appearance. Aim to blend with the company’s corporate image – formal for banks, insurance companies and the like; more toned down and casual for advertising firms or construction companies. You wouldn’t want to overshadow the person/s you’ll meet. Same goes for jewelry and make-up for the ladies. Being on time is also a big plus factor.

• Business matters are serious but try and relax before and during the meeting. All the practice and preparations in the world will go down the drain if you are so nervous that you end up stuttering your piece, sweating buckets or worse, getting a memory block. Some people suggest focusing on your surroundings first before the start of the meeting. If you are the one to meet them in their office, complement the d├ęcor or mention something trivial as the traffic or the weather. If they are the ones coming to your office, offer coffee or drinks. Do what you can to break the ice and start the conversation on a light footing.

• Keep in mind that in a business meeting, both sides will have different opinions. The trick is to learn to compromise and not too loose your temper. Say you are presenting paperwork detailing the invoices that the other company hasn’t paid yet. However, they are claiming that they are fully paid. Request for some documents and promise them an immediate update once you relay the matter to your own finance people. The same goes for clients who would like preferential treatment or those who are offering an alternative course of payments for delinquent accounts. Offer to meet them halfway. Should the matter be beyond your authority, always promise to refer it to higher management and do not commit anything further than what you are allowed. Your willingness to compromise will earn you a reputation for fair play and that’s definitely good for your career.

Remember, good meetings will produce goodwill. And goodwill will always bring good revenue.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Becoming a Topnotch Salesman

The industrial revolution is long over. Now, it is the world of business. In this age where there is so much competition in the market, it is very difficult to market a quality product or service. For a company to survive its product does not just need to be the best in the market, it should also be marketed by the best salesmen on the field.

To be successful, you need to adjust your marketing strategies regularly to keep up. However, you do not need to worry. With the following tips, you’ll be armed with everything you need to transform yourself into a top notch salesman. By being a top notch sales man, making a sale will be very easy for you.

First rule: a customer’s “No” is never final. Don’t believe your customers when they say “No” the first time, but don’t argue with them. One of the most effective sales strategies is to find a common ground with the customer that you can agree with.

Unfortunately, most of the time, customers have this natural habit to say No even before you finish your sales pitch. Still, make an effort to be able to complete your spiel. Who knows, something interesting may catch the customer’s ears.

However, if the customer still says No, then leave with a good mood. Don’t forget to wish the customer good luck before you part ways.

After some time, contact the customer again. Don’t contact him too soon or else he’ll probably regard you as one of those nonsense pushy sales persons. Try a different approach this time. You’ll be surprised how many customers will convert their No to a Yes.

Next rule, always strive for originality. Be original in how you deliver your sales pitch. If the customers happen to have encountered exactly the same time of selling, then you might never sell anything to that customer.

Customers do not only prefer genuine items but original and innovative sales techniques as well. Therefore, try to develop fresh marketing ideas which would help you attract more customers and sell more items.

No matter how difficult it may seem at first, you should keep in mind your customer’s benefit instead of your own profit. Your customers are not there to make you richer, but you are there to make their lives better. Focus on providing better deals to a customer. In this way, you’ll soon find yourself bombarded with sales orders without additional effort.

To be able to formulate a good marketing technique, you also have to believe in yourself and the product you are trying to sell. It won’t be to your advantage if you are a negative thinker. Don’t expect failures. Instead, believe that you are already a top notch sales man, and soon, this will naturally show.

Your product is your best sales strategy. If you believe in it, effective marketing words and sentences will automatically just come off your mouth. You won’t have a hard time making other people believe that your product could make their lives better.

Of course, a sense of humor helps a lot in sparking the customer’s interest. You would have to make the customers trust you for them to buy your products. Don’t be angry or too aggressive, or else, your customers would run miles just to get away from you. You would have to practice building rapport with the customers and keeping your emotions controlled.

The rules discussed are basics but a lot of sales people forget them. To be a top notch sales man, these are just what you need. Follow them and you will meet a lot of good customers and good friends along your road to success.