Gaining moments of commitment is the key to heat.
One of the biggest issues we hear from Sales Managers is that they never get a true read of the commitment status of their sales team’s accounts.
Recently a Sales Director from one of our top customers gave us the following fantastic insight:
“All I ever get from my sales guy is a comment like ‘Called and left a message asking after the proposal’ or ‘Next step – ask for the order’ which really doesn’t tell me much at all. I feel like they are just paying me lip service. It’s a bit like asking you about the weather. It’s a pleasantry, but it’s not really going to get you thinking. I need insights into how to advance the sale! I want to know whether we have a chance of actually selling them something – what the customer’s feelings are, what barriers there are, how committed they are, and I never get the right information to know that. Therefore I can’t help my team, which I desperately want to do.”
We agree with this Sales Director. After all, if customers were red-hot for the sale and the value screamed “buy me!”, then they would call and demand an order form. But they don’t. So it turns into a game of telephone tag.
In sales we need to fan the flames of the sale and move it forward with small, yet treasured moments of commitment.
How do we gain these moments of commitment?
1. Commitment from the sales person to the next action
This is of course important, but in sales you should be doing this anyway. When you do, and we know you’ve heard this a thousand times before, but please make it SMART; specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time related (SMART).
For example: “Calling to ask for the deal” isn’t a SMART objective.
“Calling at Wednesday at 10am to request a conference call to go over any last issues such as customer need, any objections and budget prior to signing the agreement” is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time related (SMART). Good job!
2. Getting customer commitment to a specific course of action
This is much more important and where sales are made or lost. It takes authority, planning and guts for a sales person to gain real commitment at each stage from a customer.
For example “I will ring through and speak to Simon about when the committee is next meeting” is fine, and you should do that. However consider this customer commitment: “Simon has confirmed that his next committee meeting is at 2pm tomorrow and he has given me 10 minutes to speak and answer questions on loudspeaker during the meeting.”
Do you see how Simon has made a commitment to you, rather than vice versa? This is a powerful way to maintain selling heat, and it works.
Commitment = Heat.
Customers are much more likely to feel the adrenalin, the ‘Big Mo’, when they are engaged and have something to do.
The most organised sales people therefore map out the sale and know what is going to happen next, plus the 2-5 steps after that.
A Commitment Map is a series of smaller goals leading to the ultimate prize, which is the signed order. The opposite of driving a sale forward with a commitment map is sitting tight, hoping for the best and knowing too late. However hope is definitely not a strategy.
How many times have you seen or personally missed an opportunity because you didn’t see something coming? Many sales people are star gazers in this fashion – by the time they see a shooting star, it’s too late.
Heat thrives in the now, and commitment fans the flames.
So, before you leave the next voicemail ask yourself the following: Is this going to feed the fire, or barely raise a spark?
For a FREE on howto keep your customers hot, long after they might have normally cooled down, click on the button below…