Written by Hamish Knox; President of Sandler in Calgary, Canada
David Sandler said, “a salesperson typically spends the first five minutes of a meeting making the sale and the remaining 55 minutes buying it back.”
If you’ve never observed this in one of your salespeople it looks like this.
- Prospect, “we want to get going as soon as possible.”
- Salesperson, “great. Let me tell you about how Feature X is really saving our clients time….”
Years ago, I was observing a role play that went like this:
- Prospect, “I’m really feeling overwhelmed by all of my choices for advertising.”
- Salesperson, “Oh. Well, let me send you a proposal and you can get back to me…”
At that moment, I jumped in and asked the “salesperson” what their prospect meant by “overwhelmed.” Their response was, “I’m allowed to ask that?”
YES. You are allowed to ask your prospect anything provided you’ve built rapport and got their permission to ask questions.
In both of the examples above the salesperson was locked into a routine like a player on a foosball table.
Instead of being present and using their prospect’s responses as jumping off points to ask a question and uncover the real truth behind their prospect’s reason for inviting them in their mindset was, “prospect showed interest = talk about product/offer proposal.” Neither of those is a strategy for consistent sales success, but they work often enough that salespeople believe they work.
Your salespeople won’t miss the moment if they aren’t mentally kicking themselves for what they just said or thinking about what they’re supposed to say next.
Make “ride alongs” a non-negotiable part of your weekly behavior so you can observe first hand if your salespeople are missing moments with their prospects then role play those situations with them after. You’ll be better equipped to support them with live data and they’ll improve faster using real situations for practise.
Until next time… go lead.