12 Top Best Practices for Successful Sales Professionals – Part Three – by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
Continued from Part Two
7) Talk to the Decision Maker – I know this sounds obvious but it can be tricky at times to get to speak with the senior person who ultimately makes the decision. Decision makers are busy people and have people to support them in a variety of duties, including screening incoming calls. It has been my experience to make friends with the assistant as a first step. If you can’t speak to the decision maker first hand, I will start to develop a relationship with their assistant. I recently confirmed an account with a large financial institution because I did just that. It was over a year before I was able to get in front of the decision maker. The VP said she admired my persistence.
8) Pleasant Persistence Pays – if there is one best practice that has yielded me the most results, it is being pleasantly persistent. I havea system of staying in touch with people that helps them keep me top of mind. I know that often when I am cold calling there is very little chance that the prospect would have a need for training when I call. (in fact I read recently it was a 3% chance that the person I was calling would have a need at the exact time I placed my call) I have a very soft approach and because I am so lit up about the value we deliver and the benefits of working with me. Often the prospect is curious about how Athena Training and Consulting could help them and are willing to meet with me. My introduction meetings are very short and people are so pleased that I called them. I provide them with a unique one-stop solution that simplifies their process. I simply love sharing what we offer and I know what a difference it can make.
9) Objection Handling –Accepting that objections are simply part of the sales process. Knowing your top three or four objectives and preparing to handle them is one of the keys to ongoing success. Often people’s objections are a signal that they either don’t fully understand how your solution will solve their problem or they want more information. With some people their automatic first response is no. Years ago I lost a big opportunity because I wasn’t fully prepared to handle the objections that came up in a sales presentation. I learned from that experience and now I do my best to assess any possible objections and I put them right up front in the presentation. I deal with them before they even come up.