The Importance of First Impressions in Sales

Reflections from an Account Coordinator

by Evan Pohl (Account Coordinator)

At my first sales job prior to joining 321Blink, I was instructed to walk from business to business, using the same sales script with every business owner I spoke with. When using this tactic, I either came across as a corporate robot reciting programmed lines, or a shady salesman hiding behind my pitch. Either way, this approach did not work.

I started having success in sales when I deviated from the script. I would ask questions to understand a business owner’s goals and target market. When I found business owners looking to attract the people our service catered to, it didn’t feel like I was selling at all. Instead, I felt I was offering a solution to people who were already looking for one.

This experience helped me learn that if you don’t take the time to understand a business owner’s goals or needs, you don’t deserve the time to explain what you have to offer.

Research to Pitch – Do your homework

The meticulous research I conduct on a prospect’s goals and needs prior to interacting with a business owner has been my key to success at 321Blink. To determine these, I do two things: take a deep dive into a prospects website and put myself in a business owner’s shoes.

When looking at a website, I’m assessing the content that’s present and evaluating it. Today, most prospective customers are getting their information from the web. Having a website that is both user-friendly and user-impressive is more important than ever. If I find it difficult to navigate or understand your website, it’s likely that I’m not the only one. The product or service, and who these are for, should be easily identifiable to the average customer. If these are unclear, consumers might incorrectly assume your product or service is not for them and look elsewhere.

Putting myself in a business owner’s shoes is more difficult. I must ask how they attract new customers, what the industry norms are, and what are the challenges they face. Once I have gathered this knowledge, I create and tailor a presentation to what I believe will resonate with a business owner. Business owners are extremely busy. If I don’t understand their goals and explain how 321Blink can help move their business in the right direction, they likely won’t listen to what I have to say.

A Plan in Action

The successful presentations I’ve had for 321Blink followed this process of researching and tailoring my message. The preparation I do might not always result in an engagement, but it will leave a lasting impression.

I went into my first successful appointment with a few different ideas of how 321Blink might be able to help this business. It was evident, upon speaking with the business owner, that he appreciated the time I took to understand his business. He liked the ideas I proposed, but said it wasn’t in his budget. He told me to give him a call in a few months to see if things had changed.

Sure enough, when I called back in a few months, he remembered me, and referenced the ideas I mentioned the last time we spoke even before I could. He mentioned there might be a time when those might be high priority, but he wanted to focus on something else beforehand.

321Blink is now helping this business owner to work on the initiative he proposed, and we’re very excited about it. Regardless of whether the business owner will ever want to move forward with what I originally proposed, the business owner wanted to work with us because I took the time to understand his needs. My cold call led to a lasting first-impression, that made the business owner want to work with our company. It just goes to show “you only get one chance to make a first impression,” so make it a good one.

Suggested read: Two Kinds of Videos Your Business Needs

Editors Note:  Evan recently left 321Blink to take an opportunity at another company.  While we’re sad to see him move on, it’s proof that he practices what he preaches when it comes to making a great impression.  Best of luck, Evan!

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Published: July 26, 2018

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