Systemize Keeping Your Sales Calls On The Rails

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Systemize Keeping Your Sales Calls On The Rails

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Getting ahold of decision makers is hard enough, but what’s even harder is having a conversation you thought was going well suddenly go off the rails.

There are a lot of reasons a sales conversation can go south, and Bulletproof salespeople don’t ‘hope’ they’ll know what to do when it inevitably happens.

Instead of hoping, the very best have a system they know to execute to get the sales call back on track or make the tough decision to end the call themselves. To learn how to nudge a sales call back in the right direction, we sat down with Kevin Vear, a sales expert with the Franklin Covey company, and learned a simple system that any of us can use when we sense a sales conversation taking a wrong turn.

Since we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it, and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.

T – Trigger: To trigger this system, Kevin recommends beginning the moment you sense this call isn’t serving the prospect. While most salespeople will get anxious when their process isn’t working, Bulletproof salespeople know they’re making calls not to sell but to help achieve their prospect’s goals.

If a prospect tells you implicitly or explicitly that they’re not seeing value in your conversion, pull this system out and get to work turning the call around.

R – Repeatable: This system comes in four parts, and are each questions to direct at your prospect to turn the call around.

First, ask, “Should we be talking?”

Your call may be going off the rails because you’re not dealing with an economic decision maker, or because the budget for your product or service may not be available right now.

Second, ask, “Should we keep talking?”
This is where you can ascertain if this prospect and their organization have goals that you and your product or service can help them achieve. Alternatively, are they suffering from challenges that you know your product or service can alleviate?

If the answer to either of those is ‘No’, then it’s worth ending the call. However, if you take the time to re-establish need, it’s possible to save many sales calls.

Third, ask, “Should we do something?”
Authority, budget and need don’t mean a lot if there isn’t urgency. This question reveals where the goal or the challenge you can solve falls within your prospect’s priorities. If you discover your solution is low on their priority list, you can present scenarios that better help your prospect understand why that goal or challenge should be higher up on the list.

And finally, ask, “Should you be doing that with us?”

This is one of the most-overlooked questions in saving a sales call, but it’s also one of the most powerful. Authority, budget, need and urgency can all come together but if trust and credibility are missing, the sale won’t progress.

By clarifying each of those questions when you notice a sales call taking a wrong turn, you’ll be able to get it back on the right track or decide if you need to create an offramp and end the call.

I – Improvable: To improve a system to save a sales call, Kevin recommends tracking how quickly you’re hearing ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on your calls. That will give you a way to improve what you’re providing in each of the four areas our questions cover above. By building those credibility points into your pre-call marketing, website, etc., you can consistently improve the state your prospects show up in on your calls and improve your ability to keep them on the rails.

M – Measurable: Measuring a system that executes on a sales call doesn’t mean tracking sales, according to Kevin. Instead, he suggests focusing on leading indicators such as the number of next steps or pipeline movement you’re generating. Those indicate that you and your prospects have decided to ride further down the road together and that you are keeping more of your sales calls on track.

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