The Action Selling system lays down some rules that are unfamiliar and even counterintuitive to many veteran salespeople. These rules happen to be true, which means that if you break them, you will suffer. The good news is that once you know the rule, you are finally in a position to stop the suffering.

Here’s another way to say that: When you get a kick in the pants, it helps to know what you did wrong. The alternative is to spend your entire sales career getting kicked in the same way, for the same reason, with no idea what’s causing the pain or how to end it. That’s the fate of far too many salespeople who never discover Action Selling.

A good example involves an Action Selling rule that arises right at the start of the process: Never make a sales call without a Commitment Objective.

No Commitment Objective = No Sales Call

A Commitment Objective is an agreement you want from the customer as a result of a sales call—a “next step” you want the customer to commit to take in order to keep the sales process moving forward.

Action Selling teaches that a Commitment Objective for every call doesn’t just benefit the salesperson but the customer, as well. Why? Because if the sales process isn’t moving forward, you aren’t just wasting your time, you’re wasting the customer’s time. And customers resent that.

No Commitment Objective = No Sales Call is a hard rule for many sales veterans to follow because it forbids a lot of activity they’ve always thought was good and productive. The rule means that you don’t call on customers just to see what’s new, or to show that you care about them, or to give them the pleasure of your company because you happen to be in the neighborhood.

A lot of salespeople who make such calls think that they’re doing their jobs properly. The truth is, they get punished for it all the time, losing business and clients. But because they aren’t aware of the rule they broke, they don’t understand why they’re getting kicked in the pants. They can feel the boot, but they can’t identify the cause. So they can’t fix the problem.

Old habits are hard to break. Even if you master Action Selling, you might backslide on the rule against making a call without a Commitment Objective. But when a customer kicks you for it, you will realize what you did wrong.

Thus, a troubling mystery is transformed into a wake-up call. That alone puts you miles ahead of the competition.

For a dramatic illustration of the importance of the sales skill of Commitment Objective, check out: Master Certification: What it CAN DO for Your team.

Action Selling in Action

Competence breeds courage. Action Selling pros make fewer mistakes, so when they slip up, they are less eager to sweep their goofs under the rug and more willing to share. That’s how we got this story from Alan Brown, Business Development Executive for Sundyne Corp. of Arvada, Colo., a maker of industrial pumps and compressors.

“Yesterday,” Brown tells us, “I requested a meeting with a corporate procurement manager, mostly because I was going to be in his building visiting with someone else. Here is his email response to me:

Alan—
No thanks. Our talks have been unproductive, and I need to focus my efforts where I can produce results.

“Ouch,” Brown says. “That reply made me think of my Action Selling training, and I realized that I didn’t follow my favorite rule: If you don’t have a Commitment Objective, don’t make the call.

“My last visit with this gentleman had been in a similar situation, where I was meeting with someone else and added him to my schedule just to fill my day. Wrong decision. I obviously didn’t show value during that meeting. Why? Because I lacked a Commitment Objective.

“This was a good learning experience for me. It certainly reinforced the concept that Commitment Objectives aren’t just for the salesperson’s benefit. They keep you from wasting the customer’s time.”

For information about how to make sales training pay huge dividends, contact Action Selling at (800) 232-3485.

Read the story behind the system. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You Are One).

Duane Sparks - Mistake? What Mistake?

ABOUT DUANE SPARKS

Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling. He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).

Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).