Time is money, and customers know it. If they invest their precious time in you by agreeing to let you make a sales call, what do they get in return?

The answer had better be something much more than a spiel crammed full of product information that they could have found more quickly and easily on a web site. If it isn’t, then customers don’t want you to call again. Worse yet, you’re just a drag on your employer’s payroll. And sooner or later, your employer is going to figure that out.

Today, more than ever, salespeople have to add value to the relationship between buyer and seller. Customers should be glad to hear from you. And they would be if they saw you as a trusted advisor who helps them improve their business.

Customers should be glad to hear from you. For that, you need a plan.

How do you earn the right to be seen as such an advisor? By acting like a professional. You have to conduct purposeful calls that move the sales process forward toward solutions that solve real problems and meet real needs. I mean every call, every time. Sales calls like that don’t just happen. You need to plan them. And you need a process that allows you to create and execute an effective plan, adapting it as necessary.

Most salespeople are frankly rotten at planning. They don’t have a process for it, and they don’t have the time (or don’t take the time). The ideal solution would be a planning process that is not only effective but simple and fast.

In a moment, I want to point you toward something revolutionary when it comes to simple and fast. But first let me say a word about “effective.” When I say that Action Selling provides an effective planning process for sales calls, I don’t just mean that it keeps you moving toward a sale. I mean that it keeps you moving toward a relationship in which you become a trusted business partner. One who adds value in customers’ eyes. So that they’re glad to hear from you.

Action Selling in Action

Dakota Supply Group, based in Fargo, N.D., is a major Midwest distributor for a wide variety of mechanical, electrical, and communications products.

Explaining why he introduced Action Selling to his company, Rosendahl says: “I really liked the planning aspect of the Action Selling process and the idea that salespeople need to be professionals. If salespeople don’t add value to the process, customers don’t want them to call anymore.”

Rosendahl also liked the strength of Action Selling’s follow-up programs that reinforce learned behavior when salespeople finish class and return to the job.

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).