How many times have you walked into a store and had someone shout from the other side of the room, “HELLO! How you doin’?” You may or may not reply. But, more often than not, it is the only time someone will ask you a question. You wander aimlessly looking for what you think you need. Frustrated, you leave the store and eventually buy the item on-line.
Working with sales reps throughout my career, I have witnessed many sales calls where the rep did not ask the most important question, “Would you like your first delivery November 5, or November 19?”
Before the sales call, the rep did the mandatory meticulous preparation. During the call, the rep asked great questions, anticipated stalls and objections, and delivered compelling answers, practically getting the buyer to order before the presentation was over. When the presentation did grind to a dull mini-conclusion, we all stared at each other, wondering what the next steps would be. For some unknown reason, the rep did not close the sale. I had to re-engage the rep by asking a trial-close question, regaining the momentum and, getting the rep to ask for the order.
Moments like those make me wonder how many sales were lost because the rep didn’t ask for the order? Why did the rep freeze up? What day dream popped up allowing them to get off track?
Sales reps should never expect to get the order. I have heard all the excuses including: “The buyer lied to me,” or, “The fax (or e-mail) didn’t arrive,” or, “I’m waiting for the buyer to call back.”
A sales rep who does not close the sale is nothing more than a professional visitor. Remember to use trial close questions throughout the sales process, and always ask for the order to Heat Up Your Sales.