Some Sales Planning Basics
Some Basics ... Sales blocking and tackling stuff (use anything that will help you or your people) ...
The following information contains questions and comments that will help your salespeople develop new business. They will also help create a value-focused attitude and sales tools for what you provide ...
Ask these questions ...
1st - “Do you believe in your ability to deliver value to customers or clients?” Yes or No. ?(If you get past this one, continue. If not, do something else.)
2nd - “Do you believe that people exist who need what you have?” (If you get past this one, continue. If not, do something else.)
3rd - “What typical situations do these people face?”
4th - “What needs and problems do they have as they face their situation?”
5th - “What do needs/problems cost people in terms of $$ or emotional impact?”
6th - “What typical solutions do you provide?”
7th - “What will $$ or emotional impact will your solution bring?” Now, answer all of these questions on a piece of paper.
Then, have your people do these exercises:
Help them develop three (3) tools from these questions.
- Tool #1 ... a 30 sec. statement about what you do, who you do it for, and what typical benefits you provide.
- Tool #2 ... an approach letter that they can mail out that asks for an appointment and explains what’s in Tool #1.
- Tool #3 ... a set of open-ended questions that start with: who, what, where, when, why, how, describe, tell, or explain ... that when asked of prospects gets them talking about the typical situation, needs, and problems you listed in #4 above. You will use these questions when in front of prospects and you may use one or two of them when at networking events.
Next, decide what people, vertical markets, or companies you will put on a prospecting list. List all the companies on a sheet of paper and get any information you can about who makes decisions about what you sell. Or, when you call, simply ask the question, “Who makes decisions about ‘x.’”
1. Join a Business Networking International group to exchange leads for prospecting.
2. Join the Chamber of Commerce and get to know people who can give you leads to prospect. You will also meet small business owners there.
3. Mail out ten (10) approach letters (tool #2 above) each week and call these people each week for an appointment. Read Bill Goods, “Prospecting Your Way to Sales Success” to learn what to say when you call - use a script as a basic building block to work from.
4. Also, mail out the approach letter to referrals you receive when networking (mentioning the name of the person who gave you the referral).
5. Cold call (telephone: see Bill Good’s book above) or cross residential or company thresholds cold if you have to in the early part of your career.
6. When you go on appointments, ask permission to ask your questions (tool #3 above). Tell the prospect that you want to understand their present situation to see if there are need and problems you can help. Ask your questions, take notes, paraphrase your understanding and, if they have needs and problems you can help, ask to set a 2nd appointment to get back to them with a customized proposal. If the solution is complex, and other buying influencers are present, then set appointments with them and ask them questions as well.
7. Set an appointment to present your solution and its investment.
8. Count on doing 3 presentations to get one sale when thinking about your income.
These basic exercises and suggestions will remove salespeople from the role of “snake-oil salesperson.” They help people work with high integrity and on the needs and problems of others. They’re just basic. (Also read: Ron Willingham’s “Integrity Selling.” It’s one of those ‘basically“ good sales books.) Any of the above can be expanded and made better. Do it. Great selling. Lance.