Have you ever been in front of a client and everything is going well. The conversation is flowing, the client is engaged and then the question comes out from your client’s mouth…Who have you worked with and do you have any references I can call right now? Um, yeah of course I do. Then you open up your laptop and start browsing through your files hoping to stumble across that forgotten testimonial that’s been buried by your natural talent and charm! Think about when you were interviewing for that dream job you were gunning for. You knew there would be other sales professionals competing for the same position so you not only dressed to the nines but you also brought a “brag book” with you to highlight your superb customer service, your awards, personal references and more. Why? You did it to prove that you are who you say you are. It’s more than talking a big game, it’s all about the proof in the pudding.
Keep in mind businesses don’t want to take a gamble on what you have to say about your company, your product and the results you say they could possibly get from your product or services because number one, business owners are a lot more educated and savvy about what their needs are and being that we are in the age of DIY, they can educate themselves watching Youtube videos and get a better understanding of what they are looking for. This means that in order for you to really deliver the client with a value proposition, make sure you offer them a piece of mind or an insurance policy which is your portfolio of businesses you have dealt with in the past.
What Should Be In Your Portfolio?
In my 23 years in sales, I have seen some amazing portfolios and then I’ve seen some…not so amazing ones.
The first thing to consider is think about the objections in your industry that you come across the most. Portfolios are another great way to put another layer of paint on how you overcome objections because it removes the perception of what the customer thinks about you. They know you are taught how to overcome objections, speak with a silver tongue and you posses a certain skill set. This gives them a piece of mind to actually read a letter or see a video of a satisfied client if you are using a digital portfolio and it helps to drop their guard because they tend to trust other business owners over the sales rep.
The second feature you should have in your portfolio are character references that clearly explain why a prospect decided to do business with you. The importance of this is because your clients that you sign up will be working directly with you which means give them an idea of who they are going to be dealing with and the support they can expect to receive as long as they remain clients. People buy from people they like!
Finally, include businesses that will speak on your behalf. You should always have a handful of current clients that any potential client could call or email and are willing to give a snapshot of who you are and the service they are receiving currently. This is without a doubt the most powerful component in your portfolio. If you aren’t currently doing this then you are missing the boat. Think of how many businesses in your pipeline would close if they heard from so and so about the results your product or service is producing.
Keep in mind, every potential prospect that give you their time…there is interest to some degree which means you better treat that appointment as if it was your only chance to win them over. I don’t care how good you are at following up because if the client loses interest then it doesn’t matter how many touches you make. Your greatest chance of closing a deal will happen when they are emotionally compelled to make a decision and logically it makes sense. Put together a powerful portfolio and see how many more closes you make every month. This is a proven system that will improve your results.