Problem: Picture your last very important sales interview with Mr. Big — the one that potentially represented three months quota. You know the one we mean. Going into the meeting, on a scale of 1 to 10, where would you rate yourself on the following scale? 1 means your briefcase is full of literature to show him, and 10 means that you have planned the call well and have rehearsed the questions you will ask to help you understand the problem in a way that fits with Mr. Big’s behavioral style and frame of reference. If you scored less than an eight, your chances of a successful meeting are less than 50%.
Analysis: Winning the big deals in professional selling comes from believing in and executing a set of strategies and tactics that allow you to handle any selling situation in an optimal way. It is similar to professional sports. Some athletes think they know the game but the top professionals know that it takes continual training and preparation to give them a slight edge in the big game.
Solution: Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for every sales call. Visualize, practice and rehearse critical components of the interview. Know exactly what you want to say to set the agenda for the meeting. Know precisely how you will transition to the pain step and what questions will be relevant to the prospect’s organization and situation. Study the prospect’s behavioral style and modify your approach accordingly. Anticipate the “tough” questions you may get asked and prepare an appropriate response or question. Writing out the playbook doesn’t hurt either. A peddler wings it. The pro is prepared.