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12 Pro Tips for Outside Sales

Chris Smith

Chris Smith is a USA Today bestselling author and the co-founder of Curaytor, a social media, digital marketing and sales coaching company...

Chris Smith is a USA Today bestselling author and the co-founder of Curaytor, a social media, digital marketing and sales coaching company...

Sep 19 6 minutes read

Curaytor is largely an inside sales company, but one of our initiatives this summer is to do more face-to-face presentations. To help prepare my sales team for a new experience, I gave them 12 Pro Tips for Outside Sales - and now I'm sharing them with you.

“When you go from the cubicle to the car, you have to make some adjustments.”

1. Appearance Matters

Like I addressed in my book The Conversion Code, 55% of human communication is physiology and body language. 38% is tone. The words you say only account for 7% of how people understand you.

Work on how you present yourself, not just your pitch. Consider your body language. Are you leaning or are you confident?

Want to listen to my 12 Pro Tips? I recorded them for my podcast Calls with Chris Smith. Listen on SoundCloud above or take it on the go on iTunes or Stitcher.

2. Show Up Early

When you are doing outside sales, you have to show up, at minimum, 30 minutes early. Why?

  • To meet with the person who booked you and thank them
  • To set up and ensure that all visuals are working properly (projector, internet) and make sure that you have an offline version of your presentation as a backup (Keynote, PDF)
  • To be there for the “meet & greet”, meeting all prospects as they arrive

3. Face Your Audience

If you’re doing outside sales, you have to face your audience.

Once I trained a man in Alabama who had been selling software for 4 years before I coached him. The man, instead of standing in the front of the room and facing prospects during his sales pitch, stood at the back of the room and made his audience stare at the screen instead. 

This leads to one of the most important lessons I have for any salesperson: You’re the lion and they’re the lamb. If you want to control the talk, you have to look at them. You could be a funny lion. You could be a nice lion— but you have to be the lion. A lion is not afraid of eye contact. A lion is not intimidated if 5 or 6 lambs are looking at him while he speaks. Be the lion, not the lamb.

4. Monitor Your Pace

When you’re in person and people are staring at you, you are likely to speak faster out of nervousness. It's important to realize that it is difficult to maintain that fast pace down the line. Think of it like a song— you need to have a verse and a chorus.

5. Hook Them in the First 60 Seconds

There are 2 things you should do in the first 60 seconds of every presentation to ensure you have an engaged audience that's on your side: Get them to laugh and get them to raise their hands.

I have a couple of jokes that I know Work Every Time (WET). It needs to be relevant - either about yourself or the subject you're covering. 

6. Make the Presentation Interactive

This is a follow-up to #5. Once your presentation is off to a great start, keep your audience involved.

Here's a trick I learned from Jeff Turner: Instead of always asking audience to raise their hand, use a different version of that, such as "I bet if I asked you guys to raise your hands…" It keeps the audience feeling like they're part of the presentation without making them feel obligated to raise their hands over and over again to diminishing returns.

7. Never Give Out the Order Form or the Price Until the End

A lot of times, people will stop and ask you for the cost of the product. That’s a good sign that they’re interested, but your goal is to give the whole talk, giving your audience more value than the price, and then get sign-ups on the same day. 

When you get questions like this, use a method I write about at length in my book: Acknowledge, Respond, Pivot (ARP).

8. Make it Simple

When you go from your pitch to your close (I call this a Transitioning Closing Statement in The Conversion Code), you have to be very purposeful when you hand out your order forms. The best option is to say something like, “Now that you know how everything works, I’m going to go around and hand each of you a form. Then, I’ll sit down with you one-on-one to go through all the details." By doing this, all prospects get a form and you get a one-on-one with all of them.

Another best practice is to have them fill out the form no matter what. For example, having them write their location in the promo line and telling them that if they do sign up, they’ll get a discount. Now you have everybody signing a form and you can try to close the deal.

9. Have a Good Reason They Should Buy Today

What will you, as the rep, do if they sign up today? Your company should have a same-day offer. What's yours? For example, mine is to offer a free, 1 hour, one-on-one webinar for anyone who signs up the same day. You could also offer a return, in-person visit as an alternative. 

10. Book Your Next Appointment Before You Leave

If the appointment went well and you want to return, book your next appointment right then and there.

Example: “Today I taught you about Facebook. Next time, I’ll come back and teach sales.”

11. Maximize Your Time

If you’re already going to a physical location, use web resources — Angie’s List, Yelp, Google Search— to identify 5-10 additional prospects in the area.

Route4Me is a great app that allows you to put in 12 addresses and will, in turn, give you the optimal path to get to all of your destinations in the shortest amount of time.

When you finish your appointment, spend the next hour or two visiting the businesses that you think you can prospect. When you go in, have nice collateral. Bring your iPad Pro, business cards, etc., and go in with an elevator pitch.

12. Do a Pre-Stop Stalk

This is the in-person “Pre-Call Stalk”. Have some intel by researching their work, reviews, etc. Your goal here is either a confirmed appointment for the next day over GoToMeeting or a same-day demo right then and there.

Want more sales tips?

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