"[A]ll too often, despite their critical contribution to a business, sales reps can get in their own way," writes Al Davidson at MarketingProfs. "They are often their own worst enemies when making appointment-setting calls and getting in front of decision-makers."
There's a good chance they're making mistakes like these:
- Failing to gather up-to-date business intelligence. A customer's pain points can evolve during the nurturing process. And in the rush to set appointments and close deals, sales reps might not ask the questions needed to suggest relevant solutions for current problems. "[Y]our solution to the prospect's pain is the logic that drives the appointment-setting process," he notes.
- Putting the customer on the defensive. Don't put words in your prospect's mouth—for instance, starting out with, "I understand that you are in the market for a new system." Instead, begin with an open-ended question based on something you already know about this customer: "I understand you are using one of the older x45 processing units. Those were great machines in their day. Is it still running well?"
- Asking about budget too quickly. When this question comes too early in the conversation, a customer tends to feel that you're more concerned about your commission than her problem.
The Po!nt: Don't lose a sale before you even have the chance to make your pitch.
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