PURPOSEFUL: Ensures every sales call serves a Customer purpose
“You like to hike in your free time right?” asked Aman’s Sales Manager.
“Yes Sir,” said Aman “I love it and I get away whenever I have a day off. It keeps me fit. But Sir, you aren’t telling me how to stop my sales calls from going waste. 9 calls out of 10 don’t seem to get me anywhere”
“Hmm.. Do they seem to get your Customer somewhere?” the Manager asked, with a wink and a smile. Aman was puzzled.
His Manager continued.. “Imagine you are all set for a mountain trek. Your mission? To collect medicinal herbs - Some in lower slopes and other rare ones higher up. If weather gets bad, you'll return with whatever you picked. Can you spot the sales-visit parallels in this scenario?”
“No Sir, I can’t think of any” said Aman.
“Ok, Aman I will share 2 invaluable hacks used by top sales professionals. They will ensure your every call either adds value to the Customer or takes your deal forward”
1.Set ‘stage goals’ to reach the main objective of every sales call
Building on Aman’s hiking story, if the aim is to collect, say, 4 varieties of herbs at different altitudes, each collection is a stage in your mission. You can call them Stage Goals. Before starting any call, seasoned sales professionals identify the sequential set of events needed to achieve their main aim. These are your Stage Goals and they include Customer acceptances needed to take your proposal forward.
Stage goals are helpful because they are the small wins on the way to your big win. They serve as a checklist for various ways in which you can be of value to your Customer, in that call. Course corrections can be quickly made, if necessary, through change of tactics. This way you can tell how close you are to your desired outcome after each call
2.Establish ‘retreat aims’
In our story, the ultimate goal is to collect all 4 varieties of herbs. If weather forces you to return mid-way, you will still have collected some varieties, or at least leave some markers to get back and resume again. Those are your Retreat Aims.
A sales call too, must similarly identify successively lower, yet acceptable objectives or Retreat Aims to achieve. These are necessary, in case you encounter problems or resistance. If sale can't be closed in that one call, some retreat aims can be: part order, trial order, approval, generating interest, re-tendering, adding value to Customer and so on.
If the main aim of a sales call doesn’t happen, you can still count the call as purposeful, if you are able to leave your Customer with something to look forward https://www.linkedin.com/redir/general-malware-page?url=to%2e in your next interaction.
So, a sales call must have one main aim, several stage goals and at least 3 retreat aims in order of priority. In doing so, every sales call, whether virtual or in-person, must serve a purpose for the Customer. And they become as much fun as a mountain trek, even in extraordinary times!
Action Question: Think through the next 3 Customer’s you want to call or visit. What purpose will your call serve for the Customer?
Related Readings: Mercuri Insight on Do you have a clear aim for every sales visit?
Takeaway Quote: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them” – John F. Kennedy
About the series: This is the 22ND in a series of 100 Posts that purport to build your #Sales Resilience.. as an individual salesperson, as a sales team, and as a sales organization. Because a Resilient India needs Resilient Sales.