Training
What Goals Do You Set for a Sales Call?
“Making a sales call means conducting a sales interview.”

BY LISA VON MASSOW

One of the biggest mistakes made by hardworking business development professionals is the failure to prepare effectively for a sales call and understanding the true goal of your efforts.
Is this scenario familiar to you? You’re calling to get an appointment with a prospect. You’re only asking for 15 minutes of the prospect’s time. You believe that once the prospect sees the demonstration of your products or services, they will be as excited about buying the product or service as you are about selling it.
Next you rehearse the product demonstration to ensure you cover all of its features and benefits.
When the time arrives for the appointment, you’re prepared to conduct the (multi-) Million Dollar Demonstration. In the 15 minutes allocated for this meeting, your first order of business is to perform the product demonstration.
You successfully complete the presentation, you ask probing questions and head into your carefully-rehearsed closing technique.
Result: Sometimes an order. Always a tired salesperson.
This common scenario happens many times, every day. It’s exhausting. Where did you go wrong? The demonstration was great. How could anyone resist buying such a good product/service, especially when it would help their business?
To answer these questions, let’s take a look at the following questions:

1.    Do you contact a prospect with the intention of qualifying whether he or she meets certain criteria for doing business with your company?
2.    When the initial phone call is made to the prospect, do you conduct a sales interview or merely plead for a small amount of time to see a prospect?
3.    Do you believe that the features, quality or value of your product/service will convince the prospect to make a purchase? Or, do you recognize that there are other reasons why prospects decide to buy?
4.    Companies can spend millions of dollars developing and printing brochures on their products. Unfortunately, the literature is being used as a means of allowing the prospect to end the sales interview, i.e.: Prospect: “Can you just leave me some information to look over and then I’ll get back to you?”
5.    Why do you approach the prospect with the intent of providing a product demonstration at any cost, even if it means not closing a sale?
6.    Do you have the pressure of a time limit imposed on you to complete a product demonstration?
7.    Who created that pressure: the prospect or is it self-imposed?
8.    Do you go to the prospect with the purpose of selling or with the purpose of helping?

The answers to these questions may seem obvious. If they are apparent, then why are so many business development professionals falling victim to the scenario described earlier?
Making a sales call means conducting a sales interview. The goal is to sell the product/service; not provide an education through demonstrations. The professional salesperson knows this, and works with a system to conduct the interview and end the sequence at their discretion. Understanding the true goal of your sales call means no more wishing and hoping that someday this prospect may become a customer. BL

Lisa von Massow is the owner and principal of Sandler Training—Endurance Partners Inc., located at 461 Green Road, Unit 11 in Stoney Creek. For more information, call 905.963.1339, email lisa.vonmassow@sandler.com or visit www.endurancepartners.sandler.com.