Take Back Control


By Neal Glatt

Sales can often feel like we’re not the ones in control.  Prospects request quotes, meetings, and details expecting prompt replies and total compliance only to ghost us once a proposal is sent.  But that’s only true for bad salespeople.  Great salespeople stay firmly in control of the sale from start to finish.  Here’s what they know to do…

Have a Process.  A process is like a recipe for success - if it is followed step-by-step, then the same results can be expected time and time again.  Would a baker create the perfect cake and then, rather than take meticulous notes to recreate the result, simply try something entirely different next time?  Of course not - but salespeople often do.  

When there is no strong selling process, the default is the buyer’s buying process.  Unfortunately for salespeople, the buyer’s process is not set up to result in a profitable sale.  A buyer’s process is set up to serve them with the best product or service at the lowest price.  Being a great salesperson requires knowing exactly what steps a prospect needs to take to become qualified and become a customer.

Often, a great sales process involves discovering a compelling reason to buy the service, establishing a budget, and discussing the decision-making steps that must occur for a sale.  It also involves some type of presentation and agreed upon next steps.  But most of all, a great process is detailed and repeatable.

Set the Next Step.  One rule for enforcing a quality sales process is to never leave a prospect or customer interaction without an agreed upon next step.  Connecting with someone while selling seems to be more and more difficult between all of the things competing for someone’s attention today.  That’s why it’s so baffling to me that salespeople give up control after every interaction.

Instead of sending a proposal via email and then endlessly trying to follow up, why not set a proposal review meeting together?  Instead of calling back to see if they’ve made a decision yet, why not have a scheduled decision review meeting established?  Once a great salesperson gets a prospect’s attention, they keep it by clearly agreeing to the next step in their process.

Cut Them Loose.  Staying in control of a sale also means not hanging on to a dead one.  When an opportunity loses all momentum, great salespeople know how to humanely kill it.  Weak salespeople, however, keep dead deals in their pipeline, endlessly devoting time to non-opportunities and sacrificing good energy for bad prospects.

When something goes off-track, the best thing a salesperson can do is send a note to the prospect explaining that it seems like there isn’t any interest in moving forward and offering to close the file.  No response confirms that situation and allows everyone to move on with their lives.  Sometimes, the threat of moving on shocks prospects back into buying mode.  Either way, the salesperson taking control means less wasted time and more deals.

Selling shouldn’t feel like we’re desperately trying to control something we can’t.  Instead, it should be an exercise in daily discipline where carefully planned behaviors are executed consistently and consistent results are enjoyed.

If you need help selling, we have plenty of courses here on GrowTheBench.com to help you specifically.  Investing just 15 minutes regularly into the videos we’ve created can give you the edge you need to overcome daily sales hurdles.  Best of all, you’ll be in control of how good you can be when you invest in yourself.  What are you waiting for?

Tags: Sales , Process , Salespeople ,