Don’t let yourself or your salespeople leave the track between too little and too much. Most of us have experienced interactions with salespeople who walk away at the first objection. Or those who do little more than call on a regular basis asking if you’re ready to do business with them yet. Or the ones that are too pushy, trying to make the one call close, acting like they know more about your business then you do?
Those salespeople don’t take the time to understand the steps in the sales process or that they need to build up the credibility and relationship with the prospect before they can close the sale. The larger the sale, the more important building credibility and the relationship becomes.
One of the best ways to keep the sales process moving forward without crossing the line is to enter every call with a plan that includes the desired next step(s) and how you will get there. These are your pre-defined goals or desired outcomes from the meeting. The formal name for this strategy is commitment objectives. A commitment objective at its core can be defined as preplanning the next step you want your prospect or customer to agree to before you leave a sales call. You want to get the prospect or customer to make a commitment of either
- Time in the future
If you don’t enter a sales call with a predefined outcome in mind, you are more likely walking away from the call without making any progress. Many salespeople walk away from meetings on a regular basis without a future meeting scheduled or a next step commitment of any kind. According to the National Sales Executive Association 80% of sales are made between the 5th & 12th contact. While only 2% of sales are made on the 1st contact, 3% of sales are made on the 2nd contact, 5% of sales are made on the 3rd contact and 10% of sales are made on the 4th contact. The statistics show that in sales it takes a focused effort to stay on track in your sales cycle. If you can predefine the steps in your sales cycle, you can determine the steps you need your prospects to take; you will keep them engaged with reasons to take the next step and not fall into the trap of too little or too much.
Defining these steps is important for sales managers. Since most salespeople give up before they hit the number of calls that produce the highest percentage of results, predefined measurable steps will keep your team on the track to sales success.
A prospective customer should never be contacted unless you have a commitment objective predefined. This is true of whether you are calling over the phone, attending a scheduled meeting or even setting the expectation for the next step in your written communications.
Since it only takes a few moments to perform an individual pre-call plan and to define your commitment objectives I hope you see how the little extra time upfront will dramatically increase your effectiveness during a sales call. In sales we should all strive to build consistency in our sales process.
Please share your thoughts on commitment objectives. I look forward to your feedback.
David Domos developed WhyBuyFromYou.com to provide content to help small businesses develop their branding, marketing and sales systems. In the past he held key leadership positions for a fortune 500 company. That company led the market in both sales and brand awareness and David was a significant contributor to its growth. David has been on the Amazon.com best seller list in their Direct Marketing, Communications and Entrepreneurship categories. He is a student of sales, marketing, branding & small business growth, continually focusing on the reasons people buy. Follow him on Twitter @WhyBuyFromYou or visit www.whybuyfromyou.com.