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Norfolk and Suffolk | ermine.amies@sandler.com

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Bear with me on this as I have to explain…

People hire me to create change, create sales growth, so I’m known as a sales turnaround specialist…

Many people will know I’m hired when a company's Sales Operating Model is stale and failing to deliver growth. Or when the cost of acquiring new business exceeds 10% ROI. You do measure this don’t you…?

Dan was feeling unmotivated. Carla, his sales manager, was pressuring him once again to improve his closing ratio … but as usual, he wasn’t giving him much guidance on how he should go about accomplishing that.

At Sandler, we've been looking at best practice in sales leadership. The best leaders have short weekly individual meetings. Regular, short & effective.

So how do you make those meetings effective?

You’re meeting with a prospect. You’ve asked all the appropriate questions to uncover the prospect’s problem, concerns, desires, goals, and expectations. After fully analysing the situation, you announce with no hesitation whatsoever, “No problem. I have exactly what you need.”Add a little drama

Does the prospect gasp a sigh of relief, utter under his breath, “Thank goodness,” and pull a purchase order from the drawer? Perhaps in Grimm’s version of the story, but not in the real world.

Why?

All too frequently, salespeople schedule appointments…and then forget about them until the day before the scheduled dates. Do you? Is preparation a last-minute activity often consisting of nothing more than a quick review of the notes from the original phone conversations when the appointments were scheduled…and perhaps a review of the prospects’ websites, advertising, or marketing materials?

Can you answer the following questions about your next prospect appointment?

Recently, you probably invested a lot of time and energy putting together a presentation of your product or service. You crafted your presentation, dotted all the “i”s, crossed all the “t”s, covered all the bases, and answered all of the prospect’s questions. But, instead of a buying decision, you only received a stall, a put-off, or a request for some concession. At whom do you point the finger of blame?

Everyone knows someone. Actually, everyone knows several someone’s. Your customers – as well as the prospects you call on – have some contact with, or at the very least know of, people who can benefit from your product or service. Unfortunately, they are not programmed to automatically disclose the names of those people to you. That doesn’t mean that they won’t; you must initiate the action.

Salespeople invest time developing their pitch, formulating questions, and preparing responses to expected questions and objections from the prospect. They rehearse, refine, and rehearse some more.

How to bring up the question of money

Ask salespeople to list their least favorite selling activities, and you can count on “prospecting” being at the top of the list. And, the least favorite of all prospecting activities is unquestionably making cold calls.