As she returned to the office, Carole was feeling pretty good about how her meeting with the CEO of one of her prime targets had gone down. Her sales manager, Fred, saw her getting a cup of coffee and asked how Carole thought things went and what it would take to do business with this prospect. Carole debriefed the call with Fred, and as she finished she asked, “What level pricing do you think I should present to close this sale?” Without a moment’s hesitation, Fred offered up the last answer Carole expected to hear from her boss: “Why are you asking me? I wasn’t on the call.” Crestfallen, Carole wandered back to her desk, confused, disappointed and even a little angry with Fred. Wasn’t a sales manager there for just these types of situations?
Fred’s response to Carole’s question was spot on. Too often sales people go on calls and leave feeling they had good, even great meetings, and this will lead to them inking an order or closing a sale. But the good feelings vanish when they realize not all of the specifics were hammered out, and they find themselves guessing about what the final proposal needs in order to secure the win. Carole got too emotionally involved in how positive things were going, and she needed to slow down and ask a few questions that would have made seeking Fred’s advice totally unnecessary. The tough questions are the difference makers, and Carole didn’t want to appear too pushy or disrupt the friendly tone of the call by going there, so she asked Fred to rescue her.
For a sales call to be truly successful, you must get two fundamental questions answered before leaving: “What does it take to do business?” and “What happens next?” The best sales producers learn that the sales call isn’t complete if you have to guess what the proposal or offer should say. The only person who can answer that question with certainty is the prospect. As uncomfortable as it may make both parties, the salesperson has to conduct a sales call so it is managed to collect the answer both questions. By getting these two answers, you can eliminate most of the back and forth of the submittal/rejection/try again game that frustrates both parties. In some cases, the time spent playing this game opens up the door to your competition. So commit to staying on task to collect these answers and stop guessing at what the offer needs to be to close the deal.
In addition to "What does it take to do business" and " What' happens next" what questions are you sure to ask your prospect before closing any meeting?
Final Thoughts for the Morning:
"One who never asks either knows everything or nothing." Malcolm Forbes
Your Top 3 Goals & Tactics for the Week
LAST WEEK: Update us on how things went last week with your stated Goals and GD Tactics.
THIS WEEK: Please share your Top 3 Goals for this week and the GD tactics you plan to deploy.