Taking Control In Sales

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Taking ownership of a sales call is something that I was regularly reminded of by managers during my sales career. Now I coach clients who work in sales professions, I find myself regularly reminding them of this. I believe its a very important area and often misunderstood part of sales and hence this blog

What does it actually mean to take control of a sales call or process ? Does it mean acting/ behaving in a more dominant manner than your prospect? Does it mean to constantly remind your prospect what is going to happen next? Does it mean to act aggressively to make sure the prospect who knows who’s boss? The short is answer to all of those questions is NO

Taking control of a sales call or process involves the sales person doing the following

1) Work toward a mutually beneficial outcome – In order to do this you have to find out what the client really wants . Not push ahead with your selling agenda. When you truly understand the clients needs and more importantly the client feels that you have done so, then you are more likely to be on the same page. This will create a snowball effect and the client will open up further. You will both be working to the same outcome and the client will be more likely to allow you to take control. It’s important to establish the mutually beneficial outcome as soon as possible

2) Get agreement from the client on the steps needed to take the business case forward/ to conclusion- This will naturally happen if you have completed step 1 correctly. You will not meet the resistance that you often find when trying to get the client to take a follow up action. If the client is bought into the process by agreeing to it then life becomes much easier

3) Remember to sell your self rather than just your product / service- People often forget that sales is primarily an exchange between people. Your prospect will not get involved in step 1 and 2 if they don’t trust. respect and like you. I could dedicate a whole book to how to sell yourself. However the following are 3 things to remember.

A) Listen to understand them and not to respond – Listen with all your heart and be genuine about wanting to understand them. If you fake this they can tell. By listening and understanding them you will get them to like you

b) Speak with passion and conviction – Again this should be not faked and should be as genuine as possible. The more you can do this the more your prospect will trust you. This is usually achieved if you truly believe in the product/ service that your selling and truly believe it’s the right fit for them

c) Respect your prospect but don’t act subservient- If you don’t respect them and come across as rude then they won’t respect you. However, if you are constantly trying to suck up to and please them they will think of you as a person with no value and you will lose their respect. A sales person with no respect cannot sell effectively

Taking control of a sales call or process isn’t about being bossy , demanding or rude. It’s about using time old relationship building techniques . By doing this you find that taking control becomes natural and effortless as opposed to forced and awkward

The end result – You sell more

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