My second Pareto Law training course was ‘Live Prospecting’ which took place over two days at Pareto’s London offices in Holborn! Being back in the Pareto classroom allowed me to reflect on how much I’ve learnt and soaked up since my first Pareto Law ‘Sales Fundamentals’ course in August. I’ve now been an Account Manager at Acuity Solutions for three months, I have my own accounts, built up customer rapport, joined customer site visits with my peers, and of course been a part of the marketing team behind Acuity’s successful Customer Day at London Stadium earlier this month!
We began the course by focusing on the importance of a positive attitude when trying to reach out to a prospect or customer. Although this may seem like a simple building block in sales it is in fact often overlooked. We were instructed to self-analyse: what part of the day do I feel most positive? How does my body language usually look when I speak to customers? What inspires me to work harder? The course tutor, Darren Brown, explained how many salespeople procrastinate to avoid prospecting rather than identifying their key productive hours or even one single ‘power hour’ in the day when they feel most positive and should contact their customers.
Our next activity was to focus on our own individual sales ratio. In many ways you can calculate the individual value of a single prospecting phone call to your business. As an account manager I found this challenging to interpret my accounts and interactions with customers into a sales ratio, instead I tried to measure the value of the different types of communication I have with my customers. Face to face meetings with customers is something I find really rewarding in my role and want to implement more as I become more experienced.
Next up was the structure of questioning and qualifying your prospects, we used the rule of MEANCHATS (Money, Emotions Authority, Needs, Competition, History, Advantage, Time, Size) despite what it looks like it’s actually a structure to put the customer first and get them talking! Aspects such as qualifying a budget and making sure you’re speaking to the person in authority are easy to remember, it’s the Emotion that salespeople often lose sight of. We learnt that 84% of people make decisions based on emotions. You can see that this was a learning curve for all the graduates on the course as when asked to create our own MEANCHATS questions we only produced two for the column Emotion despite it being arguably the most significant!
We finished the day with my favourite part of the course – the power hour! We each set ourselves targets of how to many calls we would like to make in just one hour, I managed to achieve over half of my target and booked two demos and two meetings!
During day two we studied the Pyramid of Needs, we went through step by step of all the questions you need to ask a customer before you even mention your product or what your company specialise in, once qualified you can begin to bring up the 4 key words: Solve, Save, Increase, Improve. If you prioritise the value of your business to a customer over the value of your product, the conversation remains open and in fact could reveal even more areas of need and opportunity.
Finally, we closed with another ‘Power Hour’ and a reflection of what we learnt over the two days. As an Account Manager my focus is more on building rapport rather than prospecting but nevertheless, I felt the concept of a power hour was perfectly suited to my working style and something I will definitely be implementing back at Acuity’s offices in Waterloo!
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