There is a group of specialist salespeople visiting architects, designers, and government offices in the course of their work of trying to get their products specified for new buildings and refurbishing projects. But it is very difficult for them to approach these professionals due to their time constraint.
For example, if an architect would see every representative who calls on him, he would do nothing else but seeing them and not get any work done. Most company representatives may make it to the reception desk of such offices and there they are usually stopped and prevented from getting any closer to their important business contact.
But there is a technique of breaking through this barrier und meet face to face with the clients and therefore get the chance of discussing with them your company’s products. And this article passes-on this knowledge of effecting your business in a successful way!
Firstly, there is your own presentation. I strongly advise that you do not over-dress and not appear in any way ostentatious as this may arouse aversion. It is wise to show a bit of solidarity and the ‘camouflage’ should be the same appearance as the architect. Only by blending in with them will a meeting give an air of equality and, yes, solidarity. Of course, your total manners, including standard of language need to match as well in order to establish a good rapport. At any time, you need to convey an air of an equally hard-working professional, which you are!
Having taken care of this pre-condition, you finally arrived at the architect’s office. Standing before the receptionist, with all your samples in your big satchel, have a large piece under your arm, rolled-up or folded, you are being told by her. that the architects are all very busy as their project is running behind schedule or that there is a problem on the building site. And therefore, nobody can see you, you are told with a trained, regretful voice.
You smile at her, nodding understandingly and offer to merely update the catalogue of your company’s products, they have in their library as there is nothing worse, you emphasize, than specifying something that is not available any more. That would be a real big problem. And you promise not to bother anybody, just to update a few pages in the catalogue and you are on your way. This would only take a moment.
At most times, this will get you the permission to proceed into the inner sanctum. Walking through the offices, the library is mostly an array of bookshelves at the far end of the offices or it is located in a separate room. You may get superficial glances from some people as they momentarily look up from their work and it is always very conducive to reward them with a friendly smile.
Arriving at the library, you put your sample case down and ‘inadvertently’ place your large sample, being cloth, board, PVC, whatever in a position that can will be noted by anybody who comes near. A sample table which most rooms have would be a real attention-getting position.
And while you slowly pull your catalogue off the shelve and slowly page through it, pretending to be totally absorbed, you will take notice of the coming and going around you. Professionals are pulling some folders off the shelves, paging for technical data and other information.
They will notice your large sample piece, placed so ostentatiously and become inquisitive. Maybe fingering it or muttering a few words to a colleague, they try to find out more. Eventually, somebody will approach you, looking at the large sample piece or product with interest and ask: ’ Excuse me, what is that?’ And there is your chance to sell your product, finishing with your sales pitch. Some other people with come and listen to it with interest. Or somebody will shout to a colleague across the room: ‘Hey Frank, come and have a look at it! Isn’t this something that you are looking for?’
You hand out technical data and small colour charts and ask for more details about their project. And talk about buildings where this has been already successfully installed and from where references can be obtained…….
On the way out, you smile at the receptionist and assure her that you have updated your catalogue and that all samples are now current. Yes, you reassure her, everything in your company’s product catalogue is now available and nothing can go wrong when specifying something. That will reassure her that she has done the right thing, letting you into the offices ‘without seeing an architect!’
And, leaving the premises in an elated mood, you may notice another company’s representative leaving the counter in a dejected mood as he had just been told that everybody was too busy to see him!
There are, of course, variations of this technique, adjusted to a particular situation but by applying a little bit of ‘creative selling’ you have concluded a successful visit!