Sunday, April 17, 2011

Are You Really Ready?

from my email:

Daily Sales Tip: The Pre-Call Strategy Session

One of the most important components of the sales call that will help you close more business is the pre-call strategy session.

The pre-call strategy session consists of the following four steps:

1. Know what questions you will ask and anticipate responses. Your questions must be designed to get the prospect to verbalize their compelling reasons for meeting with you relative to their problem or, as we call it, severe mental anguish (SMA). Additionally, you must ask all of the pertinent questions about their current provider (your competitor), the capacity for change in the organization (time, money and resources) and the decision-making process. Those questions and their related answers will enable you to disqualify the prospect early in the process and eliminate stalls and objections at the closing.

2. Anticipate what questions the prospect will ask and practice your responses. Your responses should often be clarifying questions that will help you understand completely what is underneath the prospect's question.

3. Anticipate "curve balls" that the prospect may throw you. For example, you may find out, at the final presentation that the decision-maker is not going to be present. What will you do? You must anticipate and prepare.

4. Role-play the call. Decide, as a general practice, that any sales opportunity exceeding a certain dollar amount will be subject to intense role play and strategy development prior to it. Role-play with a peer or your manager.

If you are a new salesperson, you may not have a problem with implementing this pre-call process. However, if you are an experienced salesperson, it is easy to feel like you are beyond this rehearsal process because you've been selling for so long that you "know what will happen." I challenge you to think about all professional athletes or musicians who practice for hours each day and rehearse for each and every competition or performance. I hope you will adopt the mantra "Perfect practice makes perfect performance" and become a true professional salesperson.

Source: Tony Cole, president/CEO of Anthony Cole Training Group

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