New Sales Training Techniques (and old ones we sadly, just don’t do)

There are a few things in Sales Training (‘ Sales Awareness’ might be a better name) that are “NEW.” And there are plenty of the Old Things that many of us, sadly, just don’t do. One of them is that we fail to recognize that a Visit – a real and live appointment for a Face-to-Face session with a potential Customer – is the single biggest BUY SIGNAL we could ever hope for.

If a prospect agrees to invite us to their office for a chat, then they are telling us that they either WANT what we sell ( = Desire ) or better yet they have a PROBLEM ( = NEED ) with what they are already buying from someone else. Knowing this, we’ve got to condition ourselves to immediately start to PREPARE, and to PREPARE with the objective of PROBING.
Every Customer and every Sales Opportunity is different. Their SITUATION is different. So our Sales Presentation has to fit their Situation…..canned Sales pitches won’t work. Even the BEST Pitch lines from our most basic canned program of pitch lines must be delivered strategically and aimed at the WANT / Desire or the PROBLEM / Need which is often called “the Pain.”
All the sacred names of Sales Wisdom and Sales Literature teach that our Sales Call Planning starts at home, in the back room. First, we Prepare by doing research on the Prospect’s web site, and on the internet we research their Industry, their Market, and their Competition. Then, we Prepare a list of Probing questions. Jeffrey J. Fox, a marketing guru and author of ” The Rainmaker ” series, recommends a list of 40 to 50 questions for big-ticket sales items. We all know the importance – and the power – of listening, of letting the Customer talk 80% of the time, so our Questions must be designed with that in mind…..designed to let the Customer talk….while we strategically listen. Customized Questions designed for each Specific Customer, in their specific Industry. Questions such as:
  • Tell me what you’re using now ?
  • Are your people happy with what they are receiving now ?
  • What kind of total service package do YOU envision, Ms./Mr. Prospect ?
  • How about the little things, like Packaging, Delivery logistics, Billing logistics ?
  • Within your company, who else, besides yourself, has expressed concerns about this item or this current situation ? ( This is the ” Are-You-The-Only-Decision-Maker question , and sometimes we don’t get an honest answer. )
  • I wonder what Company XYZ on the other side of town is doing …? ( Their Competitor )

You get the idea. Watch this Blog in the future….there will always be more and NEW questions for you to use. Lastly, we Prepare our CALL OBJECTIVE for this beautiful Buy Signal, the Appointment. In the old days the Objective was always TO CLOSE….to walk out with an Order, a Contract, a P.O. Today, it’s more realistic to Prepare for a more valuable Objective in the Business Relationship Game:

  • Another Visit with the other Decision Makers ( Bring SAMPLES !! )
  • A Plant Tour with a stop at the department that will use our Product
  • A Demonstration of our Product or Service
  • A Proposal to do some Cost Savings & Payback calculations or something equally important and valuable to the Prospective Client and its Decision Making Team.
Planning the Next Visit is an excellent Call Objective. When a Prospective Client commits to another visit this Prospect is send us another loud and clear Buy Signal. Get your Calendar out. Keep it Handy. Make sure they have theirs, too.

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