Learn how to plan for sales calls by focusing on possible client objectives and questions that can reveal them. There is a limited range of options as to what can happen so it isn't hard to be prepared, but it requires advance thought.
- It's rare that even the most talented professionals in any field simply show up for work and completely wing it. Success in solution selling doesn't happen because of personality traits or simply increasing volume of activity. Those things may help, but they aren't sufficient by themselves. Instead, it depends on how well you use the skills we've covered and your ability to make the sales process valuable for your clients. One way to increase the likelihood of success is planning.
If you're going to meet with a client, then that meeting deserves some time to prepare and plan. Don't settle for planning in the parking lot or in the elevator on the way up. Instead, plan for these two areas. Number one, focus on the questions you want to ask, not what you're going to say. There's little value in just reciting your capabilities and telling your client all the good reasons they should buy from you. So write down a few questions you can ask during the meeting. Not as a checklist, just some notes to prompt you during the meeting.
The second area to focus your planning efforts is on joint commitments. The next actions for both you and the client that advance the sales process. Don't leave this until the end of the meeting to think about. Since many of your solution focused sales calls don't end in a contract closing, you need to have thought about doing more than closing the deal or asking for an order. You want to be able to suggest next actions that help your sales cycle to progress toward working together.
Think about next steps that will help you advance the sales cycle with the client. Your call plan should include at least a primary and backup joint commitment. For example, say the primary joint commitment you want is for this client to do a site visit to your offices to review a solution design and discuss agreement terms. But maybe the client is hesitant or you learn that others are involved in the decision, or perhaps during the course of the meeting, you sense it's too early to suggest this in the process. Be prepared with a backup commitment.
Like requesting the client participate in a webinar with your subject matter experts to detail how your solution supports their needs. The quality of next steps for both you and the client indicates the speed of your sales cycle and likelihood of success. So do some planning to make sure you have strong options. Every sales interaction is a little bit different, but there's a somewhat limited range of options as to what will happen during most sales meetings. So it isn't hard to be prepared, it just requires some planning.
Leadership and revenue growth expert Scott Edinger explains what selling a solution really means and why it is vital when selling large deals or sophisticated products and services. He shows how to develop the solution-selling mindset, cultivate peer-level relationships with customers, identify real objectives, and create value. By understanding how to implement the solution-selling methodology, you can create natural and pressure-less sales interactions that accelerate revenue growth and improve customer loyalty.
- The solution-selling mindset
- Developing a buyer focus
- Creating value in the sales process
- Identifying needs, opportunities, and problems
- Leading the conversation
- Addressing concerns
- Moving forward with joint commitments
- Planning for success