Thanks to some ideas he picked up in a recent Action Selling workshop, Ken Prenger returned to his job and rescued a $250,000 deal he had given up for dead. But that’s just for starters. He says that the lessons he learned from his successful salvage effort will completely transform his future dealings with customers and the relationships he builds with them.

It’s all thanks to Action Selling’s concept of replaying the call, says Prenger, general manager of the Prenger Implement Store, an AGCO farm-equipment dealer in Minster, Ohio. Here’s his story:

Insights from replays can transform future customer relationships.

Just before leaving to attend an AGCO Action Selling workshop in another state, Prenger learned that a farmer who had planned to buy a quarter-million-dollar tractor suddenly changed his mind. On the flight home from the workshop, reflecting on what he had learned, Prenger mentally replayed his last call on the customer.

He began with his Commitment Objective, which obviously had not been accomplished. Why not? Clearly an objection had arisen. But what was it, exactly? As he had just learned, Action Selling defines an objection as the customer’s response to an unasked question. Thinking about that, Prenger realized that he hadn’t actually questioned the farmer well enough to understand the objection that had killed the sale.

When he got back and met again with the customer, Prenger used his newly improved questioning skills to learn that an opportunity had arisen for the man to buy another farm. He couldn’t buy Prenger’s tractor because he needed to keep his credit line open to do the land deal. Prenger proposed a lease option for the tractor that would not tie up the farmer’s credit. Voila! The deal was saved — “a direct result of the AGCO Action Selling workshop,” Prenger says.

But the real golden insight, Prenger reflected, was not his discovery of the customer’s business need to preserve his credit line. It was the personal reason behind that business need. As he peeled back the onion with questions designed to let him understand the customer’s situation, Prenger learned that the reason the farmer wanted the new land was because he has sons who want to enter the farm business. For them to have enough opportunity, they need to grow the size of the operation…

Duane Sparks

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).