Do you dream about being successful in sales? Or do you visualize your sales success? Do you dream about winning the order? Or do you visualize the actual steps you will take to help your prospect make the winning purchase decision?
You only have only a limited number of opportunities to interact in meaningful way with each prospect during their buying cycle. As I write in my book, Zero-Time Selling, the era of the ad hoc sales call is finished. Your prospects don’t have the time to waste on unproductive sales calls with sellers that do not provide them anything of value, that do not help them move closer to making a decision.
This means that when you have the opportunity to engage with a prospect you should leave nothing to chance. You have to be prepared.
One crucial step of preparation for each sales call is to use a simple visualization technique. For each upcoming sales call with your prospects, whether it is in-person, online or on the phone, do you mentally establish a goal and a desired outcome for that interaction? And then, do you mentally walk through the steps you need to accomplish to achieve that outcome?
This is a necessary discipline that salespeople need to practice and sales managers have to coach their direct reports to use.
There are three easy steps for visualization that you can exercise to improve your sales results.
1. Establish a Desired Outcome for Each Sales Call
What is the outcome that you envision for the sales call? (This could be a phone call, video chat, in-person). The outcome needs to be defined in terms of an action your prospect will take to move one step closer to making a decision.
2. Mentally Practice the Steps You Will Take During the Call
What is the process you will follow, what are the series of steps you will take, that will result in the outcome you desire? Identify and practice the specific questions you will ask the prospect.
3. Anticipate the Prospect’s Answers and Follow-on Questions
You have to mentally visualize the “if-thens” that could occur during the sales call. What this means is that if the prospect asks question A; then what will be your response? If the customer asks Question B, then how will you respond? You need to know how you are going to answer those questions before you speak with the prospect. Create a list of these questions and visualize how you will answer them. If you want to be extra-prepared use a colleague or a manager to help you role-play and rehearse important sales calls. You can’t anticipate with 100% accuracy every question the prospect may ask, but you can prepare.
Remember that an important sales call is the time for preparation, not improvisation.
Andy Paul is author of the award-winning book, Zero-Time Selling: 10 Essential Steps to Accelerate Every Company’s Sales. A sought-after speaker and business coach, Andy conducts workshops and consults with sales teams of all sizes to teach them how to use responsiveness, speed and intelligent processes to increase sales. Enjoy what you just read? Sign up for our regular digest of valuable Zero-Time Selling sales tips and strategies, “Selling with Maximum Impact.”
© Andy Paul 2013