Jack Daly has proven in the market, in nearly every industry, that he can move sales people through the critical sales path to the end result of sales success. As an entrepreneur, you need unbridled sales people focused on selling to core customers. Today, in part three of a sales series, Jack shares insights on fulfilling unmet needs and preparation for action as a sales champion.
Following are Jack’s recommendations:
To move along the critical path of sales, determine your prospects’ social style. Be sensitive to a prospect's style, so that you can prepare an appealing presentation for him or her. When asking about a prospect's current business sources, find out the strength of those relationships. You already should be aware of any unmet needs.
While interviewing someone, you will be able to determine what their objections are going to be when you ask for their business. If someone surprises you with an objection, it is because you did not ask enough questions or you did not listen during the interview phase of the selling process.
If we know our prospects' needs, social styles, and objections, we are in a position to offer solutions that they will find not only acceptable but also desirable. Thus, we can "motivate" prospects to move in our direction.
It's amazing how many experienced salespeople "wing it" here. Sales professionals should have a notebook full of concrete reasons a prospect should work with them and their company.
Our solution should suggest an action that will move us into, or towards, a business relationship. If we are not successful initially, we position ourselves to continually call on our targeted prospects. Our goal is more to move our relationship along than it is to concentrate on a single transaction.
Prospects tend to react negatively when a salesperson pleads, "just give me a try and I'll show you what I can do," because the statement has become trite. It's far better to suggest some action that will directly benefit the prospect.
We are not suggesting that we avoid asking for the business; but, don't be in a hurry. We want all this top prospect's business - not just a single order.
When you feel the time is right to ask for your prospects' business, we suggest an open-ended question: "Considering what we have been discussing, do we have a basis for doing business together?" The answer will determine your progress and where the relationship is headed.
If you have demonstrated your knowledge, sensitivity, and constructive help, the answer will often be "yes" with some qualifications.
Make Fewer Sales Calls
We start building strong business relationships by targeting a select number of prospects. A successful career as a sales professional is built upon maintaining a limited number of highly productive clients and not on seeing how many calls can be made in any week. "Focus precedes success" is a core concept of the Relationship Selling Process.
Every sales professional should have a written list - by name - of those you have targeted as future business partners. Determine in advance - through your intelligence sources - prospects that you would like to be doing business with in the immediate future.
This target list may have as few as ten names for established, career-oriented account executives, and as many as 60 names for a beginner. An exact number will depend both on you and on your industry.
A salesperson - no matter how successful - should develop at least one new client per quarter. It is essential that we continually upgrade our clientele in order to increase our production. Since we can work only with a limited number of clients, they must be the best available sources of the kind of business we want.
Prospects are open to a new salesperson who will help them to be more successful. Despite this fact, most prospects are reluctant to change, and the more successful they are, the more this is true.
Our goal is to have a predetermined number of clients as business partners. We must select them carefully because it is going to take some time to win them over to us. Additionally, we must get to know our targets' managers, since often they either assist us - or stand in our way.
It is not cavalier to say, "Find out what someone wants and then deliver." Doing so is far more effective than pitching your products and service in the hope that your prospect will respond. Top prospects are too sophisticated for this outdated selling style.
Prepare For Action
Once we have defined our prospect's high value needs, we must decide whether it's best to ask for a subsequent appointment in order to present our solution, or if we need to suggest some immediate action.
We are influenced in this decision by how well we have determined needs, the prospect's social style, his or her present relationships, and what the objections will be. If in doubt on these issues, continue your interview. Or if you're pressed for time, suggest making another appointment.
Tell your prospect you would like to gather some information and ideas to bring on your next visit. Make sure to schedule your following appointment before leaving!
To sum up, Relationship Selling consists of targeting a limited number of strong potential business sources, developing a relationship with each one, and then building and maintaining those relationships.
You can see that it doesn't matter how many sales calls you make. What's important is how effective each one is. See fewer people if you want to do more business, but be sure they are the right business sources for you.
As we close this three-part series, Jack wishes you great hunting! Yep, it’s hunting season, and if you’ve not yet defined who you’re hunting for, then determine your “who”, create a plan, and get out in the market. If you’re managing a sales team, have each member do the same, measure their results, use a dashboard for accountability, and get ready for a strong finish for the year.
Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images
Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images