When Phone Calls and Meetings Don’t Result in Sales

By Neil Smith

Sales is no longer a numbers game. Making as many phone calls as possible and scheduling several meetings without being too specific about your prospects might not be the ideal utilization of your time.   Smart sales reps now spend time in figuring out ways to quickly evaluate opportunities and determine which ones are worth the pursuit.

Be selective!

Often sales reps don’t prospect effectively and efficiently, they spend most of their time on prospects who will not buy. Attempts should be made to uncover the buying intention and ability of the prospect. This in turn would help you save time and resources on low probability prospects. In order to break through old beliefs about selling you need to take emotion out of the evaluation. We often focus on demographic data with criterion like number of employees, revenue, geographical spread etc. A better way to approach this is to constantly try and determine if the prospect has an issue worth solving. In case you find they do, you could move on to determining if they are a good fit.

A good fit is a true fit!

One of the tools you could utilize to determine if a prospect is a good fit or not is the ‘TRUE’ fit model. TRUE fit is a concept by Ian Altman introduced in his book Upside Down Selling.

TRUE fit breaks down all opportunities into four categories:

T-erms – the business terms

R-elationship – are you on the inside or outside?  Are they rooting for you?  Are they confiding in you, or the preferred vendor they want to have to help them?

U-pside – what is the potential to replicate, expand, reference, or create new business from this deal?

E-xpertise – how close does this project fit with your companies’ greatest strengths and strategic objectives?

Evaluate each client on a scale of 1 – 10 and see how the opportunity fits with their needs. This would ensure your reps spend their time on leads which are actually worth pursuing.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this topic via comments below.

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