Do you use sales checklists? These are lists of to-do items depending on where you are in your sales process. Think you don’t need a sales checklist to sell? Think again. All kinds of professionals from airline pilots to surgeons use checklists. While sales might not be a life or death situation, getting the sale is often more likely with a sales checklist.
Why do you need sales checklists?
You need a sales checklist if you’ve ever said to yourself, “Oops, I forgot to ask that question” or “If only I knew that before the sales call…” Most things you regret in sales could have been avoided with a sales checklist.
Think of the problems you could avoid with a sales checklist. One question to ask before an important group sales meeting is who is scheduled to attend. You learn who will be in the room when you ask about attendees. You also get the opportunity to find out why they are there, their authority level and perhaps their view of your product or service. You have an opportunity to gather information by knowing who is attending before the meeting.
You also won’t be surprised when there is someone in the room who is unknown to you. It’s more difficult to get critical information in that situation. Would you feel comfortable asking someone directly in front of their subordinate what their purchasing authority level is? Probably not.
Use sales checklists to make decisions.
The sales process is full of areas to use a sales checklist. You will have multiple checklists depending on where you are in your process.
Checklists help in your prospecting process. Just recently I worked with a client on identifying successful case studies for a prospecting project. We created a checklist to prioritize criteria to select the case studies. The most important criteria was industry. We knew we were looking to attract retail prospect so retail case studies were the first priority on the checklist. The second criterion was U.S. based companies. The last was the case study had to highlight a problem that prospects would experience.
Do you see how checklists help you make decisions?
Use a sales checklist to sell.
All sales calls, and that includes selling on the telephone, include a sales call objective. What do you hope to accomplish during that sales call? Your objectives should be included in your sales checklist. That way at the end of the sales call you get to determine if the sales call was a success. Did you achieve all your objectives? If yes, the sales call was a success. If not, the sales call was not.
All too often you leave a sales call and forget to ask an important question. A sales checklist would have the questions you need to ask during the sales call.
Knowing who can say both yes to your deal and most importantly no to your deal is critical information you need to know before the meeting. Who can say no is an important sales checklist item.
Yes, after a while you might find that the checklist is ingrained in your head. That’s fine, but remember sometimes people forget. It’s a good idea to scan your checklist before you start the part of your sales process that the checklist applies to. Certainly check before you exit the sales call to be sure you haven’t forgotten a step.
I am a fan of Sherlock Holmes. He said that his brain was like an attic and he didn’t like to clutter it. Sales checklists take the clutter out of your mind and the stress out of your selling. I’ll bet if Holmes were in sales he would be using sales checklists.