I had a tricky twelve footer or so, downhill with a left to right break. I put a good read on it and selected my line, I hit it, a perfect stroke! It was heading right toward the hole and I was convinced it was going in. But, alas, as the golf gods would have it, it broke an inch or so more than I expected in the last foot and just lipped out.
At first I was angry. But, then I thought about it. I had analyzed it correctly. I stroked the put correctly. I had the right line. But, for some reason it didn’t go in. I asked myself what I would have done differently and the answer was “nothing”. So, rather than be angry, I felt good about it.
What does that have to do with selling? A lot! You see, as you get ready for a sales call, you prepare. (You do prepare, right?) You think about who will be at the meeting, what their issues and concerns are, what questions you will ask, and how you’ll present your offering. Sometimes the sales call is successful and sometimes it’s not. Should you be angry if it doesn’t go right? Well, since it’s like putting, if, and that’s a very big question, you prepared correctly and thoroughly, then no, you shouldn’t be angry.
But, that’s the big question. Did you actually prepare as well as you could have?
We at Miller Heiman have a methodology for managing sales calls and “customer focused interactions”, it’s called “Conceptual Selling”. Properly applied, our methodology will ensure that you have prepared correctly. Think of it as a checklist the pilot uses before taking off. Sure, they know to check all that stuff, but having a checklist and forcing them self to check all the important systems before take-off significantly raises the odds of a successful flight.
So, what are some of the things you need to prepare for?
- Do you understand who will be at this meeting, why they want to be there and what they hope to accomplish?
- Do you understand what each person who will be at the meeting wants to fix, accomplish or avoid?
- If there is disagreement among the participants, do you know how you will manage the discussion?
- Do you know enough about their business to be able to show how dealing with you would add value to their business?
- Do you know what criteria you will use to judge whether they are worthy of your selling time?
- Do you know what questions you will ask?
- Do you know what commitment you will ask them for to keep the sale moving forward?
That’s only a small portion of the laundry list. If you’d like to ensure you make more putts, and close more business, then give me a call.