Our goal is to close the deal.
No reason we have to do it today.
Before you hop on that important call with a key prospect, pause. Read these five reminders.
The Five Pauses
- My GOAL is to get the next call scheduled.
- I should have ONE IDEA ready that will help move this forward.
- I don’t have all the answers, but know WHERE to get them.
- No matter what they say, their TIME is more valuable than mine.
- I am willing to table this project and focus on the next one.
If you think of courting a customer as a series of small vignettes, then we can minimize the significance of any one encounter.
Some sales folks will start the call with a brief agenda outlining what they hope to accomplish. Ideally, your list will be two items long. The first item is the focus of the call.
The second is scheduling the next call with its singular focus agenda item.
Have one good idea that can drive the need for the next call. This doesn’t mean to come to the conversation with only one idea. Bring several good ideas that could contribute to the conversation, but only introduce the ONE idea that makes sense at the time.
I like to have several options on where to go next depending on how the goal for the call plays out. Do I introduce a subject matter expert or suggest we create a mock-up of the project? Maybe I offer some case studies. Let’s see what develops.
Rely on Others
Some sales folks like to pretend they know it all. They may believe it themselves, but no one else does.
Credible sales folks let their team shine. Look for the opportunity to offer their services – on the next call. Suggest that your customer add people from their team to that conversation.
Any correlation you have between long conversations and closing the deal are circumstantial. Some prospects may like to chat and I won’t downplay the importance of building a relationship, however, don’t start a meeting with that intent.
No matter how much the customer implies that they are not busy, they are. Don’t take advantage of their politeness.
Stick to the point. Achieve your goal. Answer their questions if any, and get the next call scheduled.
When it comes to sales calls, less is more. Even if you know the answer now, use that opportunity to schedule the next conversation. The longer you engage, the more likely it is that you will lose focus and make a tactical mistake. Slow down.
Right now, you might be worried about the amount of patience required to accomplish the above. The alternative is to act like you will never get the chance to talk to that prospect again.
Take a breath. Re-read the list. Make the call. Make it brief.