Let’s face it: when we think of a great salesperson, we often think of that hard-charging, fast talking, go getter that is in constant motion. When you catch them on phone, they are either in an airport, or in their car just arriving at a meeting or just getting out of a meeting, and so it goes all day long.
Louis Pasteur’s famous quote, “Chance favors the prepared mind,” was intended to guide a better scientific method, but is equally appropriate to the art and science of professional selling. Preparing field sales representatives, account managers, or even inside reps, for sales calls, represents one of the most challenging tasks faced by sales leaders. All too often, unfortunately, the training provided to sales professionals before they are released into the fray of sales calls focuses too aggressively on the features of their products, rather than on how to effectively prepare to converse with their prospects and customers.
For better or worse, research has indicated that we make decisions or judgments about a person in the first seven seconds of an initial encounter. Given this brief window of opportunity, it is imperative for salespeople not to leave anything to chance when they initiate sales conversations.