I’ve seen many different pre-call planning forms, systems, and planning sheets. Some of them are good, but some of them, to me, seem a bit much and somewhat tedious. I absolutely believe in pre-call planning and preparing for a sales call. We have to know our agenda and what our objective is, but we need to keep the process simple.
A sales executive once asked me how I prepare for a sales call. When I told him, he was surprised how simple my own system is. I have found it to be the best way for me to get ready for a sales call. Here’s what I do:
That’s it. Over the years, I’ve learned that the agenda for a sales call nearly always falls into two categories, so that’s easy to put together. But it’s vitally important to know what my goal is and what questions will drive the bus in the right direction.
That sales executive asked me why I write down what questions I hope to be asked? I told him that I use those questions to remind me to answer them, even if they don’t get asked. For instance, at some point in the call I might say, “One of the questions that sales managers are asking me all the time is how does drills based practice coaching really work. And it’s a great question.
What we’re finding is that 90% of all the sales people we work with know what they should be doing more of and less of on sales calls, but they simply don’t do it. That’s why they absolutely love our intense, Navy Seal-like, drills-based coaching style. We give them quick demonstrations, over the phone, of exactly how top producers communicate in short, bite-sized pieces. Then, we practice back and forth with small corrective suggestions until we both get it right. They tell us they like how challenging, fast paced and effective it is. I guess my question to you is, how do your people practice to learn how to sell like top performers now?”
So, let’s break it down into some simple steps:
With this approach, you don’t have to wait or hope the customer is going to ask you a great question that tees up a fantastic answer. You do it yourself.
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