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    How To Create A Lasting Impression That Turn Prospects On

    Now you've left your sales office, and you find yourself about to enter the prospects' or customers' office. They can't see your sales objectives and the reason for your presence, but they can plainly see you! So, your first task the minute you enter their office is to create a favorable first impression.
    lasting impression

    If you want your 'impression' to last for a long time, then I suggest you create a good one first.

    How do I mean?

    Any long-lasting impression starts with a clear and straightforward 'good' first impression. You can enter your customer's premises hundreds of times, but your presence will only be noticed by your good first impression.

    I always experience this in my early, tender years of my Pharmaceutical Sales Rep-ing - a visit to a doctor, which is not the first visit, and asked me on every visit, "Where are you from ey?" Guess my 'good' first impression could be made better, right?

    Remember these few words, if you will before you see a customer, and you can't go wrong in creating a lasting impression:

    "The first impression lasts."

    In fact, Tony Buzan and Richard Israel had documented in Brainsell, you have four seconds to create an excellent first impression, within four feet from your customer. But this is a 'face-to-face' situation. For a Pharma Rep, you'll have lots of occasions to showcase you, e.g., a video-screening detailing, Round-table talk, speaker tour, etc.

    Each opportunity is a 'first-impression' opportunity creation. Seize them.

    "People will do business with those they like."

    Or with those who 'like' them. This is not difficult to understand. When I got my first assignment and was based in Kota Bharu, Kelantan, I knew I had a situation. I've never been there before, I have no relatives there, and I don't speak their 'dialect.'
    do business with

    Took me a while before I overcome the dialect thingy.

    And when I do, communication improved and they can see me becoming 'like' them. I was no longer seen as a stranger, and their likeness grew. My sales increased as well.

    But some smart 'alec' thought they can wing it. Usually, these are the middle managers who spent most of their time behind the analyzing numbers and making phone calls to their subordinates whenever they see 'lower-than' budgeted numbers.

    They tend to spend less time on 'not-so' productive areas and focus on the essential revenue areas. How ironic. You see, a weak area is like a soft spot. You can ignore it and focus on your strength until one day... you can't ignore the weakness anymore.

    That weakness becomes a breaking-point and breaks you apart, literally.

    I always faced this situation every time I put up a proposal. It's for the good of my area and customers, but the 'smart-alec' sees it as a manipulative effort of mine to gain profit. Usually, I got 'punished' at the end of the year, during the appraisal.

    I know it's my words against them, but I can tell you, in the corporate world, if your boss doesn't like you, even if your customers rave about you, your future in the company is sealed. Move on, like I did. Again, the bigger the company, the harder the 'smart-alec' head.

    But today, I can see the revenue starts to suffer.

    And that's due to failure to recognize a simple fact: people will do business with those who they like and 'like' them, especially in the Pharmaceutical industry.

    "Rapport can make or break your sale."

    This is a no-brainer. If you ever exposed to NLP - Neuro-Linguistic Programming, you know how vital rapport is. In this case, affinity is just an extension of finding commonalities.
    rapport in business

    Like I stated before 'doing business with people who like them.'

    Are you anything like your customers? Do you talk in their lingo? Do you understand their dialect? Can you express your opinion at the same level as them?

    Hear what the 'smart-alec' said but listen to me. Your result will be far better, a thousand times better if you can operate your business the way your customers like.

    Do you think Pharma companies, Multinationals or generics, employ a 'certain' race to promote their product for no strategic reasons? How do you explain then, certain companies have more of 'those' race working for them than the other sports?

    Look around...

    Evidence will speak for itself, whether you like it or not.

    Maybe the 'smart-alec' cited some exception to the above observation, but I believe an exception is just that... exception. It's not a constant. Can they guarantee the result if we repeat the same situation at different places or areas?

    I doubt it.

    That's why the 'smart-alec' stick to one company for so long. It's not because they're loyal, but they're good at one thing... defending their position with their life.

    Their mind is like tunnels - narrow and straight. No rooms to juxtapose a creative idea there.

    And that's why companies like to keep them. They're like well trained Pitt-bull, ready to charge, bite and bark at a drop of a command. That's why we always hear, "It's hard to teach old dogs new tricks."

    They don't 'invent' such phrases if it ain't right.

    Rapport building is subjective. You can achieve it instantly, or you can take years. And trust me when I say, "You can succeed BIG time in your area, with your customers, if you can recognize your 'smart-alec' and stop listening to them."

    I did. And I succeed.

    For the 'smart-alec'... well, HE's still biting, barking, and rolling all year long...

    What a pity.

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