A few weeks ago we polled you with a single question:
As a non-salesperson, you still have to sell your services. What, if anything, makes you anxious about selling?”
If you haven’t answered the poll, you can do it now by using the pop-up appearing below. We’ll be providing our take on how non-salespeople can address some of these common anxieties about selling so you can start moving down the path towards becoming what we call a “sales hero” – this is a non-salesperson who has the knowledge, confidence and skills they need to get the sales job done well.
Today’s sales anxiety is here:
|Not achieving the next step in the sales process – e.g. making sure I get the next meeting.
Here’s how we approach this common sales anxiety
Does this scenario sound familiar? You have a first appointment with an important prospect. They’ve had some problems with their current provider, and are ready to change. You’re understandably enthusiastic and confident that you will be able to impress the prospect to the degree that they will want what you offer.
You introduce yourself and the first thing they say is “let me hear your pitch, what can you do for me?” You think this is great, because you can get right down to the features, advantages and benefits of your service or product. Whilst the prospect looks receptive to what you are talking about, he cuts you short after 20 minutes and says he has another meeting and could you give him some brochures. You finish the meeting thinking “that went well, he seems really interested..
All good right?
Not exactly. The fact is, you’ve not accomplished anything that you couldn’t have achieved with a quick telephone call and mailing the brochures in the post. And worse, the prospect is probably thinking exactly the same thing. That was nice, but not really productive.
It was Duane Sparks, author of Action Selling, that first introduced me to the concept of the Commitment Objective.
A Commitment Objective is the goal that we set for ourselves to gain agreement from the customer that moves the sales process forward.”
Our principal mission, when selling anything, is to get the customer to commit. That’s why selling exists. If we’re not planning for the customer to commit to something, we might as well not even be there.
Maximise your chances of getting to the next step in the process by having a planned action that you want the customer to commit to, at every single interaction. What could these commitments look like?
I want the customer to
- agree to have a meeting with me
- agree to have a proposal meeting with me
- schedule a needs analysis
- agree to set up a meeting with me to the decision makers
- agree to check a proposal and show their agreement within a time frame
- agree to the sale
Duane Sparks says you can shave 25% off your sell cycle time by having a Commitment Objective in mind for every call or appointment. That’s like giving you 3 extra months to sell your products and services every year.
The next time you are planning an interaction with a customer – whatever that interaction is – ask yourself: “What do I want them to do?” Plan for this and make sure you make that the focus of your interaction, and you’ll maximise your chances of getting to the next step in your sales process.