It is astonishing how many salespeople aim for nothing and hit it every time.
Average salespeople often don’t have a written “game plan” for every sales call. They may have only a vague idea of how to go about their sales call. They usually wing it and hope for the best. They fail to plan and thus plan to fail.
Planning a sales call is vital because it gives you a framework to understand your customer’s buying motivations. You can have “value summaries” at hand to evoke her interest.
- Establish the call objectives. What do you want to accomplish? Review your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, meeting notes, or whatever method you use to manage interactions with customers. Reexamine what was discussed the last time you met with the customer. What are her pain points? What might she need that she’s not asking for?
- Develop a list of questions you’re going to ask. These questions should guide the “needs analysis” phase of the sales process—they shape her buying criteria. Being ready with prepared questions help minimize the amount of close-ended questions you’ll ask your customer.
- Review what you can “value add” to your customers to incentivize getting more business from them. A “value add” could be anything from extending warranties, training staff, selling pre-assembled products, customizing products, providing financing, etc.
- Think through what resistance you may anticipate. List possible objections that could stall a sale: bad timing, budgetary constraints, new leadership, market uncertainty, etc. Develop a go-to response for each challenge. Ask yourself, “How can I help the customer get past this resistance?”
Planning a sales call helps you get in the shoes of the person you’re trying to sell to and sell it from their perspective.
Idea for Impact: Always have a plan for a sales call. No matter how rushed you are, how well you know a customer, or how routine the call might be, plan the call. Never wing it. Great brands aren’t measured by units sold but relationships built.
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