Planning and preparation is an essential part of being a good sales professional. It's not just your pitch, it's being ready to handle the questions and objections that are asked during the call.
- To be successful, you have to follow a sales process that will enable you to be 100% ready for the sales call and presentation to your buyer. That sounds like such an obvious statement, but you can set yourself up for disappointment if you skip steps and enter a buyer's office not fully ready for what you might encounter. The failure to be able to handle an objection can easily result in a lost sale. My first sales manager stressed to me the importance of planning and preparation.
It's something I've followed diligently as a sales representative, preached as a sales director, and still use as a critical message for new salespeople I train today. As sales professionals, we all look forward to the day of presenting our product or service to a customer. The objective is getting on the same page with your buyer, providing a solution, and then at some point they agree to issue you a purchase order. However, they will have questions during your presentation and sales call. It's essential that you anticipate what those could be and you're ready to respond.
The two key areas of focus for objections are linked to matters related to the buyer or issues about your product or service offering. This is where the time and effort you give to planning and preparation will pay off. It's critical that you do research about the buyer you're meeting before you step into their office. Learn about them by checking their LinkedIn profile. See if they've spoken at recent industry meetings. Ask other salespeople who have worked with that buyer what their style is like.
Are they new to the position or more established? It's a big mistake if you walk into a meeting and not know this information. Next is fully understanding the pros and cons of your product or service. It's more than knowing your offering. I'm referring to what people are saying about you, your company, and what you're selling. The marketplace speaks volumes, and good buyers will have done their research about you too. Check the online reviews about your offerings, ask your customer service department what they're hearing, and check the market feedback that's been entered into your CRM.
You have to do extensive planning and preparation for your presentation and sales call. There are no shortcuts. The investment is time well spent, as this will enable you to anticipate any potential issues and objections you might encounter. Every once in a while, you may be caught off-guard by an objection. But in most cases, that really should be the exception. Salespeople who consistently hit their revenue targets are the ones who have done their research, are ready to handle objections raised, and can answer the buyer's questions clearly and resolve any open matters.