Inevitably at some point during a sales call, the customer will ask, “Who else have you done this for?” What they’re really asking is why they should believe or trust you. This is why it’s essential that early in the sales process, you establish credibility.
Every sales leader wants their team to “sell higher,” and it’s easy to understand why. Senior-level executives can make bigger decisions faster than the typical buyers salespeople engage with: low-level technical users, program managers, and mid-level executives. As Marc Benioff, founder of Salesforce.com, once noted, “When I look at [our] largest transactions … every transaction was done with the CEO.” Benioff’s experience is typical of many sales organizations.
On this Q&A episode: "What's an underrated selling skill that salespeople can develop to get an edge over their competition?"
A common theme I hear from top sales executives is that we simply don’t get enough “quality at bats”. A phrase in baseball most often used to refer to a batter's performance. When I dig into what they mean by this statement I usually hear the following: We're way too reactive (as opposed to proactive) We wait to respond to RFPs instead of helping customers define their requirements We lose on price because customers don’t understand the value we provide
According to CSO Insights, less than 50% of first meetings result in second meetings. One reason for this poor ratio is while a buyer may be willing to meet with the salesperson, the buyer’s actual level of interest in having an in depth sales conversation may in fact be low. So what can you do to increase the chances of getting a second meeting? Prepare.
One of the most common, but often misunderstood, expressions after meeting with a customer is that “it was a great sales call.” The problem with this expression is that it is intended to describe a positive interaction with a customer but is typically stated without a clear definition of what the call objectives actually were. Over the years, I’ve found that sales people often meet with customers in the spirit of relationship building but without a specific set of objectives in mind.