There’s a lot going on in The Perfect Sales Call (PSC).
This important interaction involves dozens of power phrases that must be properly tested and delicately timed.
Verbal cues must be matched by corresponding non-verbal cues, depending on whether the interaction is a phone call or a physical meeting.
Of course, tone delivery, and timbre are also critical.
Like all human interaction, the ultimate sales call contains surprises and unknowns. You never know what the prospect might do or say. Group presentations introduce even more variables.
The Perfect Sales Call is like the pencil drawing above. Each has hundreds–maybe thousands–of little strokes or touches that make up the entire process.
Here’s what to know as you create The Perfect Sales Call:
1. It’s not just what you say. Revenue will not increase because a salesperson uses new verbiage once in a while. The PSC must be established as a system. And then we must go to work improving that system.
2. Delivery is everything. How you communicate is the key to really killing it in sales. The “how” cannot be learned from a Word document or blog post. It’s best to study video and receive proper training from an objective sales coach who helps you rehearse the new script again and again.
3. There is no recipe for success. One doesn’t cook like a great chef by following one of the chef’s recipes. Selling skills are a trade-craft that must border on lifestyle. A lifestyle consists of the things we do or habits. Every salesperson has bad selling habits–even habits that she is not aware of. Ongoing coaching is one of the only cures for “habit replacement.”
4. The Perfect Sales Call is perfect because it is customized to the industry, the company, the sales department, and to the salesperson.
The Perfect Sales Call–how to get started
We can even assign times to these segments once we confirm the length of the PSC. Here are the steps to a perfect sales call:
1. Pre-meeting. Gather facts, forensic research, social media look-ups, third-party contacts.
2. Greeting and introductions. Business card exchange, The Perfect Handshake LINK, and a compliment. Establish positive expectation by saying something like “you’re going to enjoy our time together” or “I’ve been looking forward to meeting you.”
3. Pre-call the meeting time. Protect your close by (re)confirming the length of the meeting. Say something like, “I’ve blocked out about 45 minutes plus any Q&A, is that okay with you?” and nod your head “yes.”
4. Anchor question #1. Get a quick “yes” by asking something like, “Does this sound good to you?” or “Is this a good plan, so far?”
5. Pre-qualify the prospect. Get the prospect to tell you why he took a meeting with you. Ask, “What is your specific interest in…?” If he is not a qualified prospect, you must reschedule the call or cancel the meeting altogether.
6. Story exchange part 1. Get the prospect’s story, such as her background, successes, and currnet challenges. Ask a few questions along the way. Take notes.
7. Trial close #1. Get a quick “yes” related to transaction potential by asking something like “Sounds like succeeding at X is really important to you. If I can show you something that would help you save money/be more successful/save time/improve morale/sleep better at night, would that be of interest?”
8. Story exchange part 2. Share your story including your background, successes, and goals. Draw comparisons to the prospect’s story.
9. Anchor question #2. Say something like, “It looks like we have a lot in common, don’t we?”
10. Product or service demo. This could also be a drawing, a PowerPoint or Prezi slide show or whatever. Constantly reference “the ideal solution.”
11. Trial close #2. Get another quick “yes” by asking something like, “Does it seem like this type of service would be of benefit to your organization?” or “Are you still interested?”
12. The Close. You’d love to leave with a purchase order number, but you may have to settle for a “micro-close,” such as an assessment, a team intro at the next meeting or even the confirmation of a visit to your company’s headquarters.
13. Dealing with objections. Hear the person out. Ask questions to clarify and focus on deal-breakers. Deal with the objection or fall back to “less than ideal solution.”
14. Redirect the close. Answer the objection, then try to close again. If rebuffed because another company is bidding, ask who else is quoting and offer a bit of objective competitive analysis. Be sure to request “last-look.”
15. Request referrals. Thank the new customer for working with you. Pledge to never let her down. Say something like, “We’re going to do a great job for you.” Then ask, “Who else do you know that might also be interested in doing business with me?”
16. Tell ‘em what happens next. Be very specific. Say something like, “So-and-so from my team will be contacting you soon” or “Someone will be contacting you about the assessment on Thursday.” Give an end-date for the on-boarding process.
Improving sales is an iterative process
Let’s return to the earlier analogy that compared The Perfect Sales Call.
Iterative processes are come together because they receive hundreds and even thousands of “touches.”
A person learns to play the guitar by picking up the instrument countless times and playing certain fingering patterns or chord progressions over and over.
You can become an airplane pilot by logging 1,000 or more hours in the cockpit or flight deck. That means rehearsing, reviewing, and executing a set of procedures in an iterative manner over a long period of time.
It’s not easy to be “perfect.”
Follow the above guidelines for The Perfect Sales Call, get some coaching, and your closing ratio will improve because you’ll be that much closer to perfect.
Good luck and let me know if you’d like help.