How often have you gotten into trouble because the timing of your sales process was off? Bad timing can ruin a golf swing, a game plan, a great kitchen recipe—or a big sale.

Timing is a vital sales skill and a key factor in any good sales process. You must maintain the timing of the process you learn in sales training, even if customers try to throw you off.

Consider a dilemma faced by Ross Chandler. An account representative for waste-management company Veolia Environmental Services of Milwaukee, Chandler had to decide which to follow: a customer’s urging or the process he learned in sales training programs based on the Action Selling system. A major deal was at stake.

“It was a Friday afternoon,”Chandlersays. “I was talking to executives of a large veal-producing company. I was selling a waste compactor that would give them significant cost savings over the long term. I had done all my research. I was presenting my solution.”

In Action Selling terms, that meant Chandler was in Act 6. In sales training and sales coaching sessions, he had learned that he should always base a product presentation on at least three TFBRs:

  • Tie-Back to a need the customer already has agreed on…
  • Feature of your solution that meets the need…
  • Benefit to the customer of meeting the need…
  • Reaction from the customer.

“I was on my second TFBR,” Chandler continues, “talking about efficient hauling and cleanliness, when the president of the company said, ‘Ross, it’s obvious you’ve done your homework. Let’s skip to the price.’

Get the timing right, you win. Get it wrong, you lose.

“I just wasn’t sure if that was a genuine buying signal and if I should skip a step in the process. I chose to stick with the process I learned in the sales training course and my sales coaching sessions. So I did one more TFBR before I presented my price and asked for commitment.

“The president and the chief financial officer sat there crunching numbers while I discussed details with the general manager and the plant manager. The president and CFO were especially interested in that third TFBR—the one I had almost skipped.

“When I was done, the president exchanged nods with the CFO and said, ‘It looks good to us. What do you guys think?’

“I had a deal—and a huge win for Veolia.”

Chandler now realizes that one of the most important sales skills he learned in the sales training program was to “change the way I manage the timing of my sales process.”

For information about how to improve sales skills and 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).