When it comes to demographics, you should have a thorough understanding of two sets of data:
- Know your audience. While a breakdown of your audience demographics – including age, gender, and zip code – should be included in the sales materials you bring along to the meeting, you should also easily be able to cite this information in conversation and bring it to life for your merchant. One great way to do this is to personify your audience and describe it as a single person. Who is she? What does she want? What is she interested in buying?
- Know their audience. You want to show that your audience aligns with the merchant’s target or ideal audience. Local media attracts a high caliber customer, which is what most merchants want. You should have a sense of who they are trying to reach before you walk in the door, but don’t assume too much – be sure to confirm with them once the conversation begins.
Look back on deals you have run in the past. You should have a success story prepared for every single category (and subcategory, if you can) that you work with. Merchants will respond better to success stories that are very similar to their own situation. If you can get them, testimonials are even better!
Ideally you will have done a survey of your customers to gather information like how many customers visited a business for the first time as the result of a deal, how many spend over the amount of the voucher, and how many return after redeeming their deal. If you haven’t already run one, check out these guidelines for setting up a deals survey.
Every industry has it’s own terminology and important metrics. In the restaurant industry, food costs are an important consideration, while in hospitality the focus is on occupancy rate. The more research you do about the merchant’s industry before your sales meeting, the better you will be able to discuss their concerns. Look for industry websites, blogs or publications to get more information. You should also have a sense of what your own industry terms are so you can avoid using too much of what will sound like jargon to the merchant. You want to make sure that they are able to easily understand and follow your pitch in a sales meeting!
In addition to having a sense of the broader industry that the merchant is a part of, you need to know some specific details about who you are actually meeting with. Here are a few questions you should find answers to before walking in or picking up the phone for a sales call:
- What are the merchant’s products and/or services?
- Has this merchant run deals before? If so:
- With whom?
- How often?
- Was it a positive experience?
- What was the price point?
- What were the deal terms? Were they restrictive?
- How is the business doing?
- Who is their competition?
- What are some challenges they might be facing? Has business slowed for them lately?
- Do they have any expansion plans?
- Do they have a peak time of year? If so, when?