Ken Prenger is general manager of the Prenger Implement Store Inc., an AGCO farm-equipment dealer in Minster, Ohio. He sells tractors that can cost $250,000 or more. On a flight returning from an Action Selling sales training seminar in another state, Prenger reflected on a deal he had recently lost and thought about what he learned in the sales training program.

“Just before I left to attend the seminar, a customer told me that he wasn’t going to purchase a High Horsepower tractor from us, even though he needed it,” Prenger says. “I was very disappointed because I had planned on the sale.”

The customer’s sudden balk seemed to come out of nowhere. The sales training program taught that such puzzles should be treated like any other customer objections. Since the Action Selling system defines an objection as the customer’s response to an unasked question, the solution is to return to needs-assessment mode and ask open-ended questions designed to reveal the source of the objection.

Ask the best questions

“On the plane flight home, when I reviewed this customer’s last-minute decision to kill the deal, I realized I had never uncovered the real reason he wasn’t purchasing,” Prenger says.

Prenger arranged another meeting with the farmer. Using his newly honed sales skills, he asked some well-targeted questions and discovered that the true reason the customer hadn’t bought the tractor was because he intended to buy another farm quite soon. “He needed to keep his credit open to make the land purchase,” Prenger learned.

The land opportunity had arisen only after Prenger completed several steps in his sales process, so it wasn’t an issue when he conducted his original needs assessment. Hence the mystery about the customer’s refusal to buy.

“Since the real concern was that the farmer needed to keep his credit open, I proposed a lease option and explained the benefits of cash flow and not tying up his credit,” Prenger says. “I closed the deal right after I returned from the sales training program. This big recovery was a direct result of the insight and the sales skills I picked up in that seminar.”

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

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).