Whether you are successful or not in a sales call, it is always advantageous to review what you did and didn’t do.
The main reason for this is to check whether you and your prospect got the most out of the interaction. If you did well, you can learn how you can apply those ideas in future calls. If you didn’t succeed in your main objective of the call, you can identify what learning opportunities the experience can give you.
Here are some specific questions you can ask yourself in reviewing the call. Identify which ones are most important for you and create a checklist for yourself to review after each call.
1) Was I prepared enough at the start?
Did you arrive in time, with confidence and with the right amount of preparation to achieve your goals? Simply turning up with a suite of questions isn’t enough these days. You have to have your reviews of their business, their problems, their needs and the individual buyer’s profile as the basics before you start.
2) Were my questions ‘deep’ enough to gain specific information?
I hope you didn’t turn up just to present your product! If you did, you risk sounding like every other salesperson. Your visit should include questions that go deep into the real needs of the prospect.
3) How did I deal with questions about my ability to deal with their needs?
Ask yourself: Did I simply try to ‘big-up’ my product? Or did I align the product details with the specific situation the prospect is currently facing?
4) What objections came up and how did I deal with them?
Did I create a good feeling about the way the products and services would change the future of their company? Was I able to handle objections in such a way that the prospect felt good about moving on? Are specific objections coming up regularly with prospects, and if they are, what can I do to stop them from become obstacles to the progress of the sale?
5) Did I end up with some form of commitment from the prospect?
Remember, you won’t get a sale on every call, but you could get a commitment to agree to a further product presentation, or an agreement to compare your offer with a competitor’s, or an arrangement to meet with another decision-maker. It doesn’t have to be a failure if you didn’t achieve your main objective in the call; having a secondary objective may well be a good compromise so that you have opportunities to advance with this prospect in the future.
By asking quality questions like these as you review your call, you give yourself the chance to learn from every experience and you then build confidence in dealing with future situations that you may have been concerned about in the future.
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As you know, proper preparation prevents poor performance.
You’ve done your homework before the call…you’ve checked your notes from previous meetings…you’ve gone through all the questions you might be asked and prepared quality answers…you’re prepared to share your background and why you are the right company for this prospect…you’ve got testimonials to back up your claims…all correct, yes?
Then you get to the meeting and it all goes wrong. Why?
Many times, it’s because you are not really present with the customer.
Yes, you might have the best solutions for the client, but you are so focused on your information and your presentation of the solution, that you fail to focus on the present moment, watching and listening for the subtle clues your client is sending you.
So, be focused on the emotions of the client. Watch their body language when you present. Notice their reactions when you ask specific questions.
Match and mirror their non-verbal reactions when you talk about your product. Listen for the specific comments they make when you present solutions.
If you are too focused on your products and services, you may miss the subtle messages that the client sends your way.
Preparation is vital, but remember to be present with the customer at the time it really matters…during the meeting.
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How refreshing would it be if a cold caller just said those immortal words “Yes, Mr Prospect this is a sales call” right up front?
Well, a lot of cold callers are using this technique and are getting some great results.
It generates instant rapport
In a world where a lot of cold callers are saying almost anything to try and trick and lie their way to get to talk to you, this kind of approach is unusual and hence it causes a reaction from the prospect.
It’s new and refreshing!
Your prospects are receiving a ton of calls each month so when something “out of the blue” comes up they are more likely to say “you know what? go for it!”
Yes, you do want to close a sale and yes, this is a sales call. You are not being underhanded, you are not trying to mask anything and some of your prospects will love this.
Of course, like with anything there will those prospects who still put the phone down on you but you’ll get that no matter what.
So just try something a little but different and gauge your results. In some industries it works like a dream!
Happy cold calling!
MTD Sales Training
Telephone: 0800 849 6732