The More Important Sales Skill is Thinking
What does it mean to sell more with your brain and less with your mouth? Most salespeople think that talking is the most important sales skill. They are wrong. Thinking is the more important sales skill. Thinking is important well before you get in front of the prospect or customer, whether by telephone, computer, or face-to-face. These are the thoughtful parts of selling that truly make your brain more important than your mouth.
Think before you sell to plan.
The sales call doesn’t start when you sit down in the chair in your prospect or customer’s office. The sales call starts when you think about your sales strategy before the sales meeting. Planning your sales strategy applies whether the sales call is face-to-face in person, on the web, or a telephone call.
Determine how you will sell. What type of customer are you selling to? You’ve most likely heard their voice so you can make some decisions on their buying behavior and whether they are fact-based or opinion-based buyers. A simple rule is that people with more tonality in their voice buy based on opinions and people with more monotone voices buy based on facts.
Think so you can adapt.
Make some decisions about how you will adapt to your prospect or customer so you can strategically build rapport. Your prospect or customer may not be like you in assertiveness or responsiveness. Your job is to adapt to him. Think about which few behaviors you will use to adapt to be more like your customer. You might choose to adapt your vocal pace or tone during the meeting. Make your choice. Being prepared before the meeting will allow you to focus on other aspects of the meeting.
It is also important to decide what issues you think your prospect will have that you can solve with your products or services. You demonstrate credibility by researching your prospect’s company and industry so you can be knowledgeable discussing his business. It is very unlikely that you will make a sale unless you uncover a few customer wants or needs. A prospect has to feel comfortable talking with you about his business. He will be less likely being forthcoming with you unless you demonstrate your knowledge about his industry and his company.
Think before you sell for success.
It doesn’t really matter if you think you had a great sales call! Your sales call success is determined by whether you achieve your sales call objective or not. Each sales call should move you forward in your sales process. You should leave the meeting with more than you had before the meeting. You can stay motivated and move your process forward by the sales call objectives you set before you make the sales call.
If you just set one sales call objective, you might think that your objective should be to get the sale. But what if that doesn’t happen? You’ve failed since you didn’t meet your sales call objective. That’s why you set both a maximum and minimum sales call objective.
A minimum sales call objective is the least you can expect to achieve during the sales call. You must be able to control the minimum objective. Asking for a referral is something you can control. That would be an acceptable minimum objective. Getting a referral is something you cannot control because you don’t know if your customer will be able to give you a referral. Set minimum objectives so that each sales call gets you something that contributes to your sense of satisfaction and moves your sales process forward.
Think during the sales meeting.
Judge how will your meeting is going during the sales call. Your gut will tell you a lot of information. Trust it. Continue to do what you’re doing if things are going well. Do something different if they’re not! Flexible salespeople do better because they’re able to adjust when things aren’t going well. Thoughtful salespeople know when to adjust.