We're all aware of the importance of new business when it comes to running a successful engineering firm - after all, customers are the lifeblood of any company and without them, a business is doomed to fail. However, motivating yourself to branch out and make sales calls can sometimes be difficult, even for the most experienced sales professionals. Furthermore, having a great sales technique is only one of the skills needed to successfully bring in new customers - having an organised approach is one of the most overlooked, yet valuable elements of the new business process and will make growing your engineering business exponentially easier.
If you're looking to manage your new business opportunities more effectively (especially if sales is one of many hats you wear as an engineering business owner), then here are four simple tips to get you started:
Set Aside Dedicated Time For Sales:
Breaking down the sales process into blocks of time helps to make it more manageable.
New business is something that is very easy to put off unless we set aside blocks of time dedicated to establishing new business connections - as well as nurturing existing ones. Unless you have (or you are) a sales person, then chances are that new business forms one of many jobs on your day-to-day to-do list of running an engineering company. While you'd probably much rather be spending your time on the shop floor, you won't have any jobs to complete there unless you actively sell your services!
Breaking down the sales process into blocks of time also helps to make it more manageable. It's much easier to motivate yourself to spend an hour a day generating sales than it is to spend several consecutive hours on the phone and sending emails. It will also help you to be more consistent with your approach and respond to customers and prospects quicker, which can go a long way towards making a great first impression.
READ: Why Time Investment in New Business is Essential
Use a Diary:
Keeping track of when to call your prospects back is a vital part of closing new business.
Keeping track of when to call your prospects back is a vital part of closing new business. If a potential new customer tells you to call back at 11am on Tuesday to discuss an upcoming project, then you definitely need to be making a note of that so that you remember. The last thing you want to do is miss the boat when you have an actual invitation to sell your services!
This is why a diary or calendar is such a crucial tool when it comes to generating new business. It's absolutely vital that you keep track of which calls you need to be making and when, if you want to keep both your existing and potential clients happy. Online calendars come in particularly useful for this purpose, due to the fact that you can set up alerts to remind you of upcoming appointments, which stops you from having to watch the clock quite as much. If you prefer a paper diary or calendar, then this will also work, provided that you remember to check it each morning!
READ: 5 Top Tips When Hunting Down New Business
When you're discussing similar topics with multiple people and companies - be it personal or professional - it can be very easy to confuse details.
Keeping track of your previous conversations with a prospect or customer will pay dividends when it comes to building rapport and portraying your company in a positive light. Good rapport is essential if you want to build upon your relationship with a customer and win more of their business; without conversational continuity, this will be very difficult to develop. Make note of anything that the buyer tells you that could help you to develop a better relationship - after all, people generally want to talk about their holidays and weekend plans, so these conversations are a great way to strengthen your rapport and introduce a personal element.
With all the will in the world, when you're discussing similar topics with multiple people and companies - be it personal or professional - it can be very easy to confuse details. Regardless of the nature of the conversation, it's worth spending a couple of minutes jotting down notes after each call, so that you can pick back up where you left off the next time you speak. At the end of the day, buyers are human and want to be listened to and understood. Without good quality notes, it's only a matter of time before you run into trouble recounting details, or confuse two different conversations entirely.
READ: Let's Talk About Price - How to Add Value to Your Quote
Keep Others In the Loop:
You need to make other staff aware of your progress on any given account.
Unless you're managing your company's sales process entirely on your own, then you need to make other staff aware of your progress on any given account. It could be somewhat embarrassing if another person from your company tries to call a prospect or customer that you spoke to the day before, especially if they're attempting to cover old ground.
This means that communication with your team is crucial. If you've submitted a quotation for an incoming enquiry, then let other staff members know - similarly, keep them in the loop as to any other important updates regarding existing and prospective customers. This can be easily achieved through the use of a CRM system, which will store all of the notes you have on your accounts. Alternatively, if you're using the Qimtek platform to win new engineering business, leave a note on each enquiry to keep other company users informed on what needs doing, or has already been done. Also, don't forget to indicate your interest levels, as this will allow other team members to identify next steps at a glance, as well as letting buyers know your intentions surrounding their project.
READ: Manufacturing Great Relationships! Account Management for Subcontract Engineering Companies
Qimtek's sales platform has everything you need to win new engineering business! As well as providing you with a steady stream of live enquiries, complete with technical drawings and buyer contact details, it also features plenty of useful tools to stay on top of your sales process and get your company in front of new customers.
For a no-obligation demonstration of Qimtek's engineering sales platform, please call us on 01256 394 500, email firstname.lastname@example.org or click the button below.
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