In 1994 I bought a Sandler Systems Inc. sales training franchise. Some of the posts that have come your way are holdovers from those days with a Schaber spin. Good holdovers mind you!
One of my favorite “Sandlerisms” is the title of this post-inspect what you expect. Think about this for a minute because this adage does not typically relinquish its meaning until you give it some thought. The bottom line in sales is closing deals and that is the expectation of every salesperson who meets one on one with a prospect. True? True! Whether it’s a one call close or a six call close getting business is the goal.
So picture yourself in the first sales call on a new prospect. Have you thought about what your goal is? Of course, you want to close the deal. But have you thought about all the things that could get in the way of that close? Have you really thought about it?
What could go wrong on this sales call:
You are meeting with the wrong person or people.
Your meeting, which you thought would last an hour, has been shortened by the prospect to 20 minutes.
You have not prepared for this meeting by doing research on the company, the industry or the person you are meeting with.
At the beginning of the face to face sales call you get maneuvered into presenting information about yourself, the product or service you are selling and the company.
You leave the first sales call with the feeling that there are details that are left unanswered.
And the worst feeling is what’s next?
Well, I will tell you that you are not alone. I would estimate that probably 60% of the sales calls made on the 10th of January did not cover some or all of the above six things that could go wrong. The reason(s) is simple and I apologize for being brutally honest. SALESPEOPLE DO NOT LAY THE CORRECT GROUNDWORK FOR THE OUTCOME OF THE SALES CALL!
Why? Because salespeople get excited about closing business. They want to share with the prospect how the rep’s product can help them. The salesperson has no clear process for how they want to execute the sales call. There are 15 other things going on before and after a salesperson makes the sales call and the rep’s attention during the call is drawn away from that specific moment.
Inspect what you expect means creating a plan that will encompass how you communicate with your prospect. It also means having a series of specific goals that are the outcome of this sales call. Tune in Monday the 14th for the first step in this process.
The Final Thought: A goal without a plan is just a wish. Antoine de Saint Exupery (1900-1944)