Are Your Sales Stalled?

by Shaun R Smith on May 17, 2011

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Last month, a client I was helping with sales started BCC’ing me on their prospect emails.  And I discovered an alarming pattern.  Many of the emails were just giving information or saying hello – without any action items or next step requested or defined.

In Action Selling by Duane Sparks, he begins with a story of a salesman who’s just dropping in to say hello to a prospect.  The sales manager reprimands the book’s salesman for wasting his time and his prospect’s time.  Most insidiously, the salesman actually thought he was being productive and working.

Look at your sales activity. Are you clear at every step of your sales process what the “close” is? From an initial introductory call, your “close” or your goal or (to use the Action Selling term) your commitment objective might be to schedule an in person meeting. From the in-person meeting, the objective might be to have the client request a proposal.  At the proposal meeting, the commitment you’re looking for might be to sign a contract and get a first payment.

You must be clear each time you interact with a prospect what the commitment you are seeking and what’s the next step in your process.

If not, your sales will meander aimlessly.

Photo by: Vizzzual.com

{ 1 comment }

Roberta Kravette May 22, 2011 at 11:05 am

Thanks for the reminder Shaun. I think all of us are guilty of not asking for the sale at one time or another, but in the creative professions this seems to be a rampant syndrome! We need to be aware that we waste our own time as well as that of our prospective client’s when we are not clear about the goal of our contact with them. Yes, every contact should be another brick in a solid relationship. But the goal of the relationship is providing a source of service or product that will enhance our client’s business while moving ours forward. This is not “pushing” this is smart – and considerate – business.

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