Your Sales and Sales Management Questions Answered Part I

In an article last week, I provided the post to a sales competency contest.  The final question in that survey asked the participants for any sales issues they needed help with.  Today I’ll answer the first four of those questions below:

Q –  Any tips on maintaining emotional control when dealing with dissatisfied customers?

A – Yes!  And instead of defending, explaining, correcting or challenging, simply be prepared to always do the following:

  • smile
  • apologize
  • take responsibility
  • ask, “…and assuming I can fix that for you, then….?”

Q – How can I measure behavior besides call reports and forecast sheets that look good but the results do not support the promises?

A – Call reports are like movie reviews – they are one person’s opinion of what they observed.  Unfortunately, salespeople don’t observe very well, aren’t very impartial and their version of what happened is usually based more on how the conversation evolved rather than whether or not they met the call criteria.  It’s that call criteria that will transform inaccurate forecasts into predictive tools.  You can learn more by reading this article and following the embedded links.

Q – Niche, new and unique high ticket software with long sales cycle, that due to its recent introduction, is unbudgeted by client for their current year.  What is the single most important step to shorten that cycle?

A – Slow down at the earliest stages of the sales process.  You can learn more by reading this article and following the embedded links.

Q – When taking on a new account from another manager, what do you think is the best way to build the relationship?

A – I’m assuming you mean account manager. The best way to build the relationship is to:

  • apologize for the change
  • give assurances but suggest that “you can judge my words by my actions”
  • do what you always do when you build a relationship from scratch
  • under promise and over deliver
  • ask tons of questions to identify ways you can uniquely add value that others aren’t adding
  • ask how you can add value
  • invite your customer to lunch

Do you have some additional tips you would like to add to my answers above?  Click comment and leave your mark!

I’ll answer more of these questions in the days to come.  In the mean time, one of my articles has been nominated for Article of the Year.  You can vote for Dave Kurlan’s article right here.

(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan