Appointments More Efficient?

Question submitted to Ask the Workplace Doctors about sales: How can I avoid time-wasting questions and improve scheduling?

We sell copiers, printers, software and any kind of service. I am fairly new at the whole sales process and never thought that I would even get into this career. Now that I am here, I am working hard to do the best that I can and understand what I need to do to be a successful sales person. The biggest problem that I am having at work is that I don’t think my appointments are always as effective as I they could be.

The goal is to get people interested in what I am trying to sell them, and after that, create a process where I can show them a demo, and if they like the demo, then we will get them pricing. It’s important to ask customers a lot of questions, such as closing questions, to get the deal moving forward quicker. My problem is that I don’t know all of the right questions to ask, which causes the deals to get delayed. So I need more help on my appointments to get them moving faster, but I’m having a hard time making appointments due to scheduling conflicts.


A Loss for Questions


DearĀ A Loss for Questions:

Apparently you are learning sales, and learning entails the two areas you are finding difficult: scheduling appointments and asking appropriate questions. What you don’t mention is product knowledge. Have you actually been introduced to the many aspects of you company’s copiers, printers, software and any kind of service? Do you know their selling points as compared to others? How do they stack up with independent agencies who rate them? Have you been sent to or been given access to training of the various companies that make the printers, copiers, and software your company sells. And what feedback does your company have as to the quality of your services?

Too often, new hires are expected to learn this kind of information by osmosis and that is a slow frustrated learning process. Have you been allowed to shadow those you schedule appointments and makes sales? If your answers is no to this barrage of questions, here’s another: have you asked your boss for help? That’s what bosses are paid to do. They should do more that give you a list of talking points. You should not simply be thrust into selling without ample product knowledge. If you are put out there to sell and consequently fumble that does more than not make sales; it damages you company’s credibility and future sales.

Selling is not simply attitude and process–thinking you can sell anything to anyone. Rather selling entails curiosity about what are the product needs of potential customers and who and where they are. If you are genuinely curious, you will ask questions that can begin with: How are things going for you? What do you do where you work? And having any problems lately with your copiers, printers or software.

Options to coping with your frustration you boil down to:

–Continuing as you are and gradually learning from observation and trial and error.

–Confiding in coworkers who might guide you.

–Asking for training and monitoring by your boss or coworkers assigned to you.

–Searching for product know-how on your own; study your company, handle the products, gain product knowledge via the Internet, direct contact with producers of the products you sell and if possible do informational interviews with potential customers.

Meanwhile, don’t take yourself too seriously. Talk to yourself. Say, “Don’t expect too much. Pat yourself on the back for effort and small successes. Work as if you owned the company, but also have a life outside of the job. Walk, dance, sing, and help someone less fortunate once a week. Maintain balance. Say, “Girl/Guy, you have attitude and you’re doing all that is reasonable for to make this job a learning experience. “You are not alone. You are new but with hands, head and heart do what it takes to make big WEGOS with all with whom you come in contact.

William Gorden