Best Practice #46 – Plans for 4 aspects of every sales call

By Dave Kahle

“You should have an objective for every sales call.” That’s a bit of sage wisdom that we have all heard, probably multiple times, throughout our sales careers. Unfortunately, I disagree.

I believe you should have four objectives for every sales call.  Every sales call is an opportunity to accomplish these four things:

  1. To connect with the customer more deeply and more intensely than ever before.
  2. To learn about the customer in more depth and detail than previously.
  3. To present something to the customer that he/she will likely think of value.
  4. To gain some agreement on what happens next.

These four goals really reflect the four fundamental competencies of the best sales people.  They are exceptional at connecting with the customer, learning about the customer, presenting to the customer and agreeing with the customer.

As a result, they accomplish far more in a sales call than their less disciplined colleagues.  Each more effective sales call ads to the total, and they become super stars as a result of excellent execution of each sales call, one after the other.

"Excellence expresses itself in great sales calls." - Dave Kahle

Every sales call is an opportunity to practice your craft, to improve upon your skills in these foundational areas. As you focus on achieving the four goals of every sales call, you naturally become more and more adept at them, until you achieve excellence. Excellence expresses itself in great sales calls.

I have two rules for planning a sales call:  1) You must plan to do all four things, and 2) You must plan to do each as well as you can, given the constraints of time and the situation.

Visualize a sales call as being organized like a dart target.  Imagine the dart sphere being divided into four quarters – each representing one of the four fundamental goals of a sales call.  Then, imagine the rings – large on the periphery of the target, but increasingly smaller until they end in a tiny bull’s eye in the middle.

You understand that you have four darts to throw, and each dart that sticks closer to the bull’s eye scores more than those on the outskirts of the target.

So it is with a sales call. You have four goals, and you can achieve each with various degrees of proficiency – i.e. closer to the bull’s eye. For example, you can connect with the customer when you both acknowledge how miserable the weather is outside. On the dart target, that’s the very outer ring of the target, where it doesn’t count very much, if anything.  On the other hand, you can share some deep common bond that you discover. That’s a dart that sticks much closer to the bull’s eye.

You see then, that each sales call is an opportunity to accomplish four objectives, and to accomplish each as deeply as possible.

The best understand the power of a sales call, and plan to wring the greatest value they can out of every sales call.  This is a way to do it.

To learn more about this best practice, consider my one-hour training seminar:  Best Of Dave #1: Target Sales Calls.  If you are subscriber to The Sales Resource Center, consider course C-2, The Kahle Way® B2B Selling System, or Pod #1:  Target Laser Sharp Sales Calls.

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