A Tale Of Two Sales Calls
Posted on 3rd June 2017 at 08:07
During a recent field accompaniment program for a software development company, I met Brian, who invited me to join him on appointment with a medium sized company. This lead came through Brian’s company website and stated an urgent need to purchase his type of product offering.
Brian is an experienced sales professional with plenty of credibility. He is easy going and is an expert on his products and market.
After establishing a good rapport with his prospect, Brian’s opened the conversation by asking exactly what business results the client was hoping to improve through a software purchase.
Brian tuned in to the business results that his prospect was looking to achieve and delved deeper, using several powerful questions, into the reasons why it was so important to drive those particular results. He then entered into a collaborative discussion about how such a solution would best fit into the company and what else his company could do to add value.
During the meeting, Brian came up with several ideas and valuable insights that made his prospect think differently about the outcome he thought he wanted, and Brian expertly framed the value of his solution.
Brian offered a way forward that considered the many elements that were causing his client concern, i.e. how to implement and manage the change issues that would result, how to express the value to his internal stakeholders, and how he might enable a decision that helped the customer to implement in a timeframe that would help his prospect deliver his goals.
Two days later, I met up with Simon from the same company, who took me to meet a company of almost exact dimensions and requirements to Brian’s. This lead also came through the company’s website and expressed a strong interest in a short-term purchase.
Simon’s first move was to ask what his prospect knew about his company’s products, and what she was looking for in such a product.
Simon progressed the sales call by asking a few pre-prepared qualification questions and then launching into a 25-minute presentation about his company and products.
By the end of the presentation the prospect knew how many employees worked for Simon’s company, where their Headquarters were situated and had Simon’s view of how his product compared to his competitors. His product obviously made his competitors look ordinary.
The approach that Simon took is by far the one I see most often when accompanying field sales.
The approach that Brian took is by far the most effective.
During the following weeks, Brian’s prospect called him several times. He sought Brian’s opinions on a number of different issues. Brian was able to make several small closes and secured a paid 30-day trial, which if successful would lead to the purchase of 50 licenses at full price.
Simon’s experience was very different. During the following weeks, Simon’s prospect kept him at arms length, only contacting him to enter into a price negotiation that drove his margins down by over 20%. A few days after conceding this margin, Simon’s customer informed him in a two-line email that whilst they were grateful for his time, they had chosen not to go with his solution. They of course would keep his information on file.
When I last spoke to Simon and Brian, 4 weeks after that email, Simon hadn’t been able to reach the customer by telephone, nor elicit a response from them on email. Brian was agreeing contracts.
There were three critical differences between what the approaches of these two sales people that are not immediately obvious
There is a right way and a wrong way to sell.
Not everyone can do it.
But when it is done properly, it goes straight to the bottom line.
As a Speaker, Sales Trainer and Accredited Master Coach (CSA), Glen Williamson is passionate about helping SME business owners and sales professionals of all levels reach new height of sales performance delivery.
Taking his 30 years of experience in sales and business development, Glen founded GWC Sales Training in 2011 to deliver consultancy and training for clients across a wide range of sectors including logistics, financial services and oil and gas.
Meeting the needs of our increasingly complex and competitive business environment, Glen’s “Master The Sales Conversation Masterclass”, and Complete Target Account Selling Program create interactive opportunities to embed new ideas and techniques for consistent, predictable sales success.
Glen believes that sales is a collaborative process, part of who we are and how we survive, and at its core, should be a desire to ‘help’, not ‘sell’.
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