“We’ve got a readership of 5,500 on a monthly basis who will see your advert – do you want a quarter page or a half page?”

“We’re expecting over 7000 visitors over the 3 days of the show and you’ll be joining the 250 exhibitors who’ve already signed up – how many square metres do you want?”

I am often asked this question and I think it should be changed to “what does an effective sales team sound like?” That’s easier to answer. I’m in a sales office at 08:00 in the morning and it’s noisy. Sales executives are making sales calls, they’re on headsets and waving arms in the air as they walk around.

Others are enthusiastically planning the morning’s calls and discussing the goals for today. Another group are reviewing yesterday’s objections and how they intend to respond. I can hear the usual banter, gossip and jokes mixed in with professional sales conversations. I can feel motivation and self-belief in the air and hear loud applause when sales figures are marked up on the whiteboard.

Earlier this week, one of my clients was complaining about how difficult it is to get hold of the prospect again after sending them a written proposal. He told me that this happens often – he has a good sales meeting, the prospect seems eager to proceed and invites him to follow-up with an email. The end.

I asked if I could have a look at one of his proposals. When I’d read it I phoned him and asked him to tell me what he thought the prospect would gain by working with him. I wanted him to tell me why the prospect should say yes. He did, in fact he spent three to four minutes on the phone explaining the benefits for the prospect in a very persuasive manner.

I’m sitting with a sales person who is currently handling my objections. We’re in a role play and I’m the prospect. The sales exec is delivering rebuttals in response to my concerns and he thinks he’s doing well. And in a way he is. But he shouldn’t be having to do this in the first place.

When we finish the session, I congratulate him on his determination and tenacity in addressing the issues and he’s pleased. And then I point out the reason that he’s good at handling objections; it’s because he isn’t good at questioning. In fact he found out very little about the prospect before he launched into his sales pitch. He thinks he was selling. I think he was telling.

Paul Streeter Training Services, Woodhill, Bathampton Lane, Bathampton, Bath BA2 6SW
Tel: +44 (0)1225 443882 • Mobile: +44 (0)7785 340775 • Email: paul@pstrainingservices.co.uk

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