Aug 262011

A week ago, I wrote about the need for field sales to maximize their presence at the customer’s office to take advantage of the opportunity and as much as possible press forward.

What about inside sales? What inside sales representatives occasionally forget is the goal of their telephone discussion. Once a request has been made or once a suggestion is put forth, the salesperson needs to obtain a commitment. What is the next actionable item to which the customer is committing?

Here is an example:
Customer is being non-committal or simply blowing the salesperson politely off: “send me the brochure and I will look at it.”
Assuming the customer is either an influencer or a decision-maker here is what the salesperson needs to say and do while the customer is on the telephone: “For which information would you be looking? Can I answer the question or we dig deeper together? Who else would need to look at the brochure and what are they looking for? May we set an appointment to review the next steps? Which day and time? Etc.”
The salesperson needs to get a commitment from the customer that aligns with the communicated sales objectives. Short of getting a sale on the books, the salesperson needs to obtain a definitive and time-bound promise from a customer on that telephone call.
The answer might not always be a ‘yes,’ but not asking might be a problem of the salesperson’s making. Simply seal your request for a definitive next action with a ‘would you have an objection to that?’



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