Sunday, 19 October 2014

7 Vital Things For Sales Professionals To Do In A Customer’s Lobby

When they arrive at a customer’s premises and wait in the lobby or foyer far too many sales people miss out on golden opportunities to maximise their chances of sales success.

Don’t waste your time sitting down drinking coffee  - keep your eyes and ears open for information that might be useful and do things that will help you to close the sale, including:

Read copies of the customer’s internal magazine if they have one.  Internal magazines are great sources of information about things that are happening inside their organisation. They contain things that the senior leadership want to communicate to employees and as a result they are goldmines of useful information.  Many organisations leave copies in their foyer and other public areas.

Read copies of the customer’s annual report (again frequently displayed in public areas). You can also download copies from most large companies’ websites – essential reading for sales professional!

Read copies of any leaflets and posters on display.  Often companies will put their own promotional material in their foyer and this is a great chance for you to learn more about what they are selling.

Take note of any awards, trophies or photographs on display. If they have been displayed then the customer thinks that they are important, and you need to take note of them.

Pay attention to who is coming into reception from other companies. Where are they from and who are they going to see?  Sit close enough to reception so that you can see and hear easily.

Build rapport with the receptionist and security guard. Treat them with respect, ask their name and then use it (most people treat them with indifference which is a big mistake).  Over time as they get to know you, they can be very useful sources of information and will sometimes tell you things that they shouldn't!

Stay standing up! If people are feeling powerful they will often adopt what are called “high power poses” – open, expansive postures and gestures.   One very powerful non-verbal display of power is to stand with your hands on your hips with your elbows out.  When combined with a wide stance (the more space between our legs the stronger we appear), this is a very commanding and territorial display.  You will see this posture adopted by people in leadership and authority positions such as army drill sergeants and police officers.  
By contrast when people are feeling less confident and powerful they use “low power poses” that is more closed postures, folding their arms, hunching their shoulders, making themselves appear smaller by collapsing the body inwards.

In a series of fascinating experiments researchers took saliva samples from test subjects (both men and women) to measure their testosterone (what is called the “dominance hormone”) and cortisol (what is called the “stress hormone” levels.  Some test subjects were then asked to adopt “high power poses” (standing upright in a confident manner) and some were asked to adopt “low power poses” (sitting down in a hunched posture).  Each test subject adopted the relevant poses for two minutes. 

A second saliva sample was then taken and the results compared with the first.  High power poses caused an increase in testosterone of about 19% and a decrease in cortisol levels of about 25%.  Low power poses caused a decrease in testosterone and an increase in cortisol. In short, the high power poses made the person feel more powerful and their hormone levels prove it. 

So do not sit down whilst waiting to be collected from the customer’s foyer or lobby, or for the negotiation to commence. Stay standing up in and adopt a powerful and confident posture.  Standing up also keeps your energy levels higher and means that when the customer meets you for the first time you are at eye level.  In the animal kingdom the alpha male tends to sit or lie on higher ground than the more subordinate members of the pack.  Standing up when greeted means that you are not “lower” than the customer when you first meet them. 

With all of this to do you just haven’t got time to sit on your backside drinking coffee!

Simon Hazeldine MSc FinstSMM is an international speaker and consultant in the areas of sales, negotiation, performance leadership and applied neuroscience.
He is the bestselling author of five business books:

·   Neuro-Sell: How Neuroscience Can Power Your Sales Success
·   Bare Knuckle Selling
·   Bare Knuckle Negotiating
·   Bare Knuckle Customer Service
·  The Inner Winner

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