Why are salesmen reluctant to make that call…

A proper sales approach needs to educate sales teams in both aspects of the Sales process. The Tactical skills required when face to face with a customer, and the strategic planning that goes into being well prepared when one is in front of the customer. Strategy is all the ground work that goes into creating relationships with the correct influencers in the customer organization, knowing what keeps the customer up at nights, and confidence in recommending the correct solution for their needs.  If these bases are covered well in the Strategic phase, everything falls into place in the tactical phase when we are face to face with the customer. One cannot succeed without both phases being covered. The underscored, tacit, need, is for the salesperson to constantly think ‘Win/Win’ for both organizations.

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Sales call reluctance typically occurs when the salesperson is ill prepared for the role of selling in general – especially for the deeper stages of ‘Qualify, Approach, Negotiate and Close.’ These stages assume that there is a strong relationship with the key buyers as well as that there is a “Sponsor’ relationship in place with the client organization (someone who is the Salesperson’s   ‘Coach’). In addition we need to have covered the Technical, Financial and User Buyers within the organization hierarchy, and have a good understanding of their needs and wants. Without these key bases covered we are bound to experience sales call reluctance – fix them and watch the problem disappear…in most cases.

Five Things Clients look for during the Sales Dialogue:

  1. Did you do your research about the (Client’s) Organization. Did you understand what their market environment is and how they fit into it. Did you know who their competitors are and how they stack up against them. Were you able to demonstrate an awareness of what keeps them awake at night?
  2. Were you able to clearly articulate your solution proposition such that it not only answered the questions the client raised during the dialogue, but in fact anticipated and clarified those that were never articulated, but that were on the Client’s mind?
  3. Were you able to demonstrate and articulate deep awareness of what the client stands for – The Values the Organization embraces, The Professional, Social and Global considerations that resonate within the Organization.
  4. Were you honest when responding to questions about your Solution, any limitations that may not totally cover the Client’s expectations, and most importantly did you encourage the client to articulate any references to competitive Solutions…and did you respond with Honesty, Clarity and Conviction.
  5. Throughout the Sales Dialogue process, did you ensure (and indeed encourage) the client to share the Organization issues, concerns and aspirations without interruption. Did you listen more than you spoke throughout the Dialogue…I mean true listening from the heart to understand and appreciate what the Client’s real issues and concerns were.

You see…in the final analysis, the Role of the Sales Professional is not so much about selling…. as it is about empowering the Client to buy!