Yesterday I mentioned Covey’s second habit – Beginning with the end in mind…how does this work in practice?
When planning a sales call, “the end”, or meeting outcome must be the first consideration! Doing otherwise wastes both yours and the prospects time. What should the call outcome be? Almost every company I work with can tell me what tends to lead to a sale. For instance, last week I was speaking at a software company’s partner summit. They quoted a statistic showing that ninety percent of their “Proof of Concept” initiatives lead to a buying decision. In another national sales meeting I spoke at, an access assurance company presented a similar statistic. One reseller client I work with on quarterly marketing events says that he closes follow-on projects for ninety percent of the complementary assessments he offers. With this in mind, they are generally able to quantify what qualifies their proof of concept effort, who should be involved, and how to run the program. This is the goal, to get to this point with these people. On the other hand, my non-scientific surveys show that companies are closing about ten percent of their proposals; even among companies who have shared their key to success as stated above. What that tells me is we are writing the proposals before getting to that predictable key point in the sales process, or we just have not identified it yet. If you don’t know the end goal, you’re just shooting in the dark. If you do know it, you may be wasting great opportunities.
© 2011, David Stelzl