Friday, December 7, 2012

Face The Facts, Then Make The Sales Call

Among the advice shared by Erie Insurance VP Mel Hirst at the Nov. 14 Erie Sales Club workshop was, "The primary difference between successful, growing salespeople and those who aren't as successful or who aren't growing is that successful, growing salespeople make more contacts." Another term for that is "NETSCAD," which stands for Not Enough True Sales Calls A Day. This is a disease that has a 100% mortality rate in salespeople. You need to speak with the final decision-maker (DM) or someone in the DM loop who has the ability to influence the DM.

On a True Sales Call, you can achieve:

1. Identifying the client's budget constraints to make your initial sale as lucrative as possible
2. Probing to understand their value opportunities (needs and wants)
3. Providing value that shows you can help them
4. Uncovering/revealing attitudes
5. Validating a current customer's expectations and satisfaction
6. Validating previously delivered value. Get them excited again about what you've done for them.

You need to apply skepticism to ensure you actually made a True Sales Call. The client may want to just be nice but did not give you any real information that was useful. Set aside your feelings about the call (emotions) and consider the facts:
1. Was the same topic/information simply rehashed?
2. Have you progressed toward a sale or upsell?
3. Did you get new actionable information?
4. Did you get additional critical information such as DM loop, budget, and new value opportunities?
5. Ask yourself the hard question -- "What information did I actually get from the contact and is that information useful?" -- and give yourself an honest answer.

The Erie Sales Club is a joint effort of four leading local businesses: Jameson Publishing, Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services, VertMarkets, and Howland Peterson Consulting.