Don’t sabotage yourself by misbehaving on a sales call. Understanding how to conduct yourself with a prospect supports all your good product knowledge and your understanding of your industry. Bad behavior can make it irrelevant.
1. Never underestimate the value of business-related objects in their office. Team photos and sales awards are golden nuggets, waiting to be mined. Show interest – ask about them. Do be careful not to make it the focus of your meeting.
2. Never look at your watch while your prospect is speaking. This is really bad form. It’s telling your prospect that you have somewhere else to go. Keep eye contact with your prospect. It’s a sign of respect and it will help your listening.
3. Never accept a cup of coffee. Once you have it, the cup becomes a distraction for the prospect. They don’t know what you’re going to do with it or where you’re going to put it. They won’t be insulted if you politely say “no thank you.”
4. Never rest anything of yours on your prospect’s desk. Hands off, it’s their turf. No papers, notebook, elbows, Smartphones, etc.
5. Never, ever, ever trash your competition. Think about it. You’re telling your prospect that they made a terrible mistake when they chose the ABC Company. They don’t want to hear that from you.
6. Never use company policy to tell a prospect “no.” You’re hiding and not being willing to engage in a discussion about what your company can and can’t do. If you insist on quoting policy, be prepared to explain and defend it.
7. Never dominate the conversation. Ask a question, and then pay attention, listening to the prospect’s answer. It’s okay to take a few notes, but try to maintain as much eye contact as possible. Let them speak. Ask questions to refine or clarify their information.