It is important for everyone on your revenue engine team to recognise the signs that indicate when to switch from delivery mode (or customer service mode) into sales mode.
Professionals, technical staff and service providers that work on a project, or are engaged on an ongoing basis, usually find themselves in frequent contact with clients while they are delivering their solutions or services.
There are project update meetings, discussions with client personnel, vendor meetings, formal reviews and casual conversations over coffee or lunch.
Customer service and service delivery
This type of client contact often falls into the category of ‘customer service’ or ‘service delivery’. That is, you are providing the services that have been previously scoped and agreed to.
However, in many circumstances these points of contact with the client (or other vendors/suppliers) can also be seen as marketing opportunities. These occasions can be treated in a proactive manner. For example you will be reinforcing the knowledge or expertise held by your firm. Or you will relate client success stories to demonstrate points during your discussions. This giving of information (demonstrating knowledge or expertise) is a marketing activity.
Recognise sales ‘triggers’
During those conversations with clients you could hear comments that may indicate they have a need for additional services or products. I call these comments ‘triggers’ because they can trigger a sales-oriented conversation whereby you can explore their requirements and determine if in fact a sales opportunity exists.
It’s at this point – the ‘trigger’ point – that you need to switch from service delivery mode into sales mode.
The idea of switching into ‘sales mode’ can sound scary to many professionals and technically oriented staff. They don’t want to be perceived as a pushy money-hungry sales person. The good news is, you don’t need to act like the stereotypical sales person.
What to do in sales mode
Switching into ‘sales mode’ means you need to do two things:
- Ask intelligent questions.
- Slow down and listen.
Pretty simple really.
But to do this well, you need to have a strategy. You need to know what to ask, and how to respond to possible answers. Importantly you also need to know what to do next. In other words, if you discover a potential need what will be your next steps?
Have you assessed your client interactions so you can recognise the time to start selling?
Are you fully prepared for those sales conversations?
Image: David Precious