What is the first step toward correcting any mistake? You have to know it’s a mistake and that you just made it.
In sales, as in any other endeavor, when you get a kick in the pants, it helps to know what you did wrong. What rule did you break? What sales skill are you lacking? The alternative is to spend your entire 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 encounter great sales training.
How so? One benefit of great sales training, based on a great sales system, is that it can help you to break some bad habits that most salespeople don’t even recognize as problems.
A good example involves a rule that lies at the heart of the Action Selling system: 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’s sales training 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 and demonstrating excellent sales skills. 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. So they can’t fix the problem.
Old habits are hard to break. Even after learning about Commitment Objectives in a great sales training program, you might backslide on the rule against making a call without a C.O. But when a customer kicks you for it, you will realize what you did wrong.
Thus, a vexing mystery is transformed into a wake-up call. That alone puts you miles ahead of the competition.
For information about how to improve sales skills and make sales training pay huge dividends, contact Action Selling at (800) 232-3485.
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).