Would you do the same thing?
I have heard you say that you shouldn’t give out pricing unless you gather information first. Though I agree with you, sometimes you can‘t do that. I am an account executive for a software company. We have several applications and packages that we sell and they are somewhat customized but we do have packages that are inexpensive, off-the-shelf packages as well. My question is how can I ask questions and find out more information if the person on the phone making the inquiry asks about our basic package and how much that one is? I mean it is a very straight forward question.
OK let me calm down a minute before I answer this because I might blow. First of all, I didn’t realize that if you have a particular procedure you use to collect information and recommend the correct package for the prospect (or suspect in this case) that what they think they want is automatically correct and you are obliged to answer. I looked up your companies website before I answered and I don’t see anywhere an indication of you being non-profit organizations. What we fail to remember if you give an answer out that quickly you have absolutely no idea why they are looking at it, what else they are looking at, what issues they need to solve etc. If you don’t find out these simple answers isn’t there a chance you could be recommending (or in this case giving information on) the wrong application for their needs? If so isn’t it your responsibility to make sure you get to the issues they are having and recommend what is right and not just what they ask for simply because they asked for it???
Take control of you sales process, or it will take control of you and turn you into an order- taker and not a sales professional.
Our company supplies promotional products to companies for give-aways to clients, prospective clients and to use at trade shows. My question is a simple one. I had a meeting with a large accounting and tax firm and they want to get samples of what I think they should use. I gave them the ones I thought were best for them and I have called and called to follow up with no answer on what they want, how many etc. How do I get them to call me back?
Well there is no trick but let’s understand a few things.
First of all I wouldn’t give anyone anything without clearly understanding if they like the ideas, what will happen next and by when. I would ask them, “So if I give you the few things I think will help you with your upcoming trade show, based on what you told me you were trying to accomplish, with in the budget that we discussed, and you love them, what happens next?” If you don’t have a clear understanding here, don’t proceed.
Second of all what you are doing is not “following up” it’s stalking! Follow up is when you mutually agree on what is going to happen next and each of you have set up a clear understanding of what that means. For example you will agree to talk on Tuesday at 3pm to get their decision of whether they are going with you or not and if so what are they ordering.
In both questions I am feeling (which is very common) the need to do whatever the prospect asks. You will only have that need if you don’t have a process that you follow to build business in your organization. Stop letting everyone else be in charge of your business and get control of a process that you use to sell. The last I checked most of you are not into business for fun. Most of us are trying to build business and make money. Believe me it won’t happen by letting the prospect decide how you run your process.
I wouldn’t get surgery done by a doctor who said , “well this is how I do it but how would you like to proceed?” or a pilot so asked the passengers what speed to go once in the sky. Why is it ok in sales. It’s not.
Greta Schulz is president of Schulz Business SELLutions in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is the best selling author of “To Sell is Not to Sell”. Greta does corporate training for fortune 1000 companies and she has an on-line training course for entrepreneurs. For more tips go to: www.schulzbusiness.com.