Test Your Prospecting Skills
Slick is a seasoned salesperson who has been selling ad specialties for over 4 years, but like many of us he often makes costly, yet avoidable mistakes. Unfortunately, Slick makes these same mistakes over and over again, because he's not even aware of his errors. As you join Slick on his sales call, see if you can identify at least 15 places where Slick went wrong.
As Slick walks door to door at a row of industrial units, looking for new prospects, he mumbles to himself. "My territory is useless, I must have knocked on 20 doors this morning, but no one is buying. Discouraged but not defeated, as Slick enters the office of his next prospect he is confronted by the receptionist.
Receptionist: Good morning, may I help you?
Slick hands the receptionist his business card.
Slick: Good morning, I'm with Best Ad Specialties. Could you please tell me who orders the promotional products for your company?
The receptionist reads Slick's business card and then ponders for a moment.
Receptionist: That would be Mr. Elusive. Do you have an appointment?
Slick dreads this question and his facial expression shows it. But being a professional he does his best to hold his composure.
Slick: No I don't. I just happen to be in the area and I was hoping to take a moment to introduce myself to Mr. Elusive and tell him briefly about our services. Is he in?
Receptionist: I'm very sorry Mr. Slick, but Mr. Elusive can't see you at this time. He is in a meeting. You can phone to make an appointment, but I really don't think he'll be interested since we already have a supplier.
Slick: I understand so I'll call him later. In the meantime can I leave him one of our catalogue and pricelist?
Receptionist: That will be fine, thank you.
Slick hands the receptionist a catalogue and leaves. It is now late afternoon and Slick can still be seen walking door to door. Although he has made several more attempts to reach Mr. Buyer he's been unsuccessful. Tired and worn he looks down at his watch and decides to make this his last call of the day. As he enters the office he is approached by a well dressed woman.
Woman: Good afternoon, may I help you?
Slick reaches into his pocket and hands her his business card.
Slick: Hi, I'm with Best Ad Specialties, could you please tell me who orders the promotional products for your company?
Woman: I'm Ms. Buyer, the company's purchasing agent. What can I do for you?
Slick's face beams with joy. He has finally reached the person he has been hoping to meet all day. Fearing that she might brush him off at any moment, Slick begins to speak quickly.
Slick: Ms. Buyer, at Best Ad Specialties we offer the largest selection of promotional products, supported by outstanding service and very competitive prices.
Eager to impress his new prospect and hoping to keep her attention, Slick quickly hands the buyer a beautifully designed, four color catalogue.
Slick: As you can see, we offer the largest selection of advertising specialties in the city. I'd very much like the opportunity to quote one of your next jobs.
Ms. Buyer gives the catalogue a quick inquisitive glance and hands it back to Slick.
Woman: Mr. Slick, thank you for dropping by, but we've been dealing with the same supplier for the past 5 years. We are quite happy with their quality and service.
Poor Slick knows he's in trouble. He has heard this same objection hundreds of times and it usually means leaving empty-handed, but luck was on Slick's side that afternoon. As he was about to leave when he saw his golden opportunity. In the buyers shirt packet was a pen imprinted with the company name and phone number.
Slick: Ms. Buyer, that is a nice pen, may I take a look at it?
Slick quickly looks it over. He takes a deep, hopeful breath in preparation for his next question.
Slick: (almost begging) Ms. Buyer, could I take this pen with me? I'd really like to show it to our estimator and fax you a competitive quote.
Woman: Sure take it
Slick: (with a tone of excitement) Thank you. If I could just get your business card, I'll email the quote tomorrow. By the way, how many of these pens do you usually order?
Woman: I think, the last time we ordered 2 thousand.
Slick: Ms. Buyer, thanks again. I'll leave you our catalogue and price list. If there is anything you need please give me a call.
Slick turns and leaves. True to his promise and in an effort to show that Best Ad Specialties provides fast and efficient service, Slick emails Ms. Buyer a competitive quote early the next morning.
To find out exactly where Slick went wrong simply email your request to peter@SellingAdSpecialties.com and we'll send you a free report.
Test Your Quoting Skills
Quoting a job is like playing a game of chess. It is played by a highly defined set of rules and although anyone can play, the salesperson that knows the rules will usually win. So read the following short scenario and see if you can identify at least 7 common quoting mistakes. Next try to answer the 10 skill testing questions.
You're meeting with Jack, the purchasing agent at a new account. After giving him your company catalogue and telling him about your services, Jack reaches into his desk and hands you a sample.
Jack: "We're attending a trade 6 weeks, so how soon can you get me a quote for 3M of these pens?"
Salesperson: "Jack, as I mentioned we pride ourselves in offering our customers excellent quality and fast service so I'll make sure that you have the quote first thing tomorrow morning."
Jack: "That's great. Thanks for dropping by and I look forward to seeing your quote".
As promised, early the next morning you email Jack a cover letter to thank him for the opportunity and attach a very competitively priced quote. A week later you follow up and Jack says "Thanks for your quote but you were $75 too high so we gave the job to someone else."
Skill testing questions
1. Prospects are always raising price objections so how would you close the sale, without giving a discount, when your prospect says:
"I can get the same job elsewhere for less"
"This job costs more than I thought"
"This is $800 too expensive" or
"We don't have the budget"
2. When dealing with a price shopper you should not submit a quote because he'll shop it around until he finds an even lower price. How can you close the price shopper without submitting a quote?
3. Submitting a quote at the wrong time can be a fatal mistake. Should you be the first or last to present a quote?
4. About 7% of decision makers are looking for the lowest quote. What are the other 93% looking for? (Hint, it's not fast delivery or better quality.)
5. What are purchasing agents looking for in a quote? (Hint, it's not low price)
6. Sharing ideas that make the prospect's promotional campaign more effective is great way to gain a competitive edge. How can you prevent the prospect from stealing your new ideas?
7. An effective way to impress the prospect is to submit a quote where column "A" shows the prospect's exect spec's and column "B" shows your new ideas. Why is quoting the job two ways a costly mistake?
8. At the end of a strong presentation you say "Mr. Prospect, the price for the coffee mugs is only $1,200." What 3 quoting mistakes did you just make when you gave the price?
9. How can you make any quote seem inexpensive and easy to afford?
10. If you try to win the account by submitting the lowest price you will lose more often than win. What easy to implement quoting technique will eliminate price competition?
Winning a job has nothing to do with price
Winning at the quoting game has nothing to do with price and everything to do with skill. In other words, if you're losing jobs to lower quotes or finding it difficult to compete against suppliers that are heavily discounting, it's not because your prices are too high but rather because you're making some costly quoting mistakes.
Order your copy of The Ultimate Guide to Ad Specialty Sales today and discover how North America's most successful salespeople consistently land the account even when theirs is the highest quote.