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There is a significant difference between outside sales and inside sales. With outside sales, the customer can see your face, he can tell when you are pushing for a close and when you are unsure of what to say next. To have a successful career in outside sales, learn how to use the face-to-face nature of the job to your advantage, and also appreciate the value of confidence.
Reading the Customer
One of the advantages of outside sales is that you have the opportunity to react to your client's body language and facial expressions. According to AllBusiness.com, part of the ability to close a sale is being able to read when a customer is ready to buy, when the customer needs more information and when the customer is losing interest. A slouched customer with her chin in her hand is a potential sale you are losing. Learn to read a customer's' reaction to your questions, and be able to alter the course of your presentation to try and get the customer more interested and more involved.
Stop at strategic points during your presentation to allow your customer to ask questions. When your customer asks questions he is staying involved, and he is giving you the information you need to close the sale.
Because outside sales is a personal experience for you and the customer, it is important to make your presentation smooth and your transitions from one topic to the next logical. Even if you find yourself in front of several customers a week, you can learn to appreciate the role-playing exercise as a powerful training tool for any outside sales professional. Role-playing with other outside representatives in your company, or your manager, allows you to trade information and ideas that will help you improve your presentation. With a role-playing exercise, you can stop and ask your colleague questions about how you are presenting the information, and learn how to better move a customer to a close while you are in the field.
A sales funnel is the prospects and deals you are actively pursuing to bring in a steady stream of revenue. As an outside sales representative, you have an opportunity to network with prospective clients by attending conferences and trade shows all over the country. Spend some time talking to your clients about the people and companies they do business with, and ask if there is a way your customer can begin to introduce you to some of her contacts. Maximize your networking potential at all times and you can keep your sales funnel filled.
George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.