Pre-call planning – propose an advance or lose

Pre-Call Planning

Pre-call planning – most sales reps have heard the message.  Some are good at it. Others do it but are no better then anyone else.  And some don’t believe they need to so they don’t.

One pre-call planning area where you can get a jump on competitors is doing a superior job at planning and rehearsing an advance – an action that moves the sales cycle forward.

When giving feedback in sales simulations we often share with sales reps and managers they should plan multiple advances. Why? If the call doesn’t go as well as planned, they still need to “close” the call with some proposed action that moves the sale along – giving the sales person a reason to get back in front of the customer. On the other end of the spectrum, what if the call goes better than anticipated? If sales person hasn’t thought about a more aggressive advance they often a miss an opportunity to separate themselves from the competition.

Of course planning call exit strategies can only go so far – we’ve all been in sales calls that we thought would go east but the customer takes the call west. That happens, but the more a sales rep thinks through actionable advances, the more likely they will be able to adapt and adjust.

After all, if truth were known the best planned and executed sales call that doesn’t end up moving the sales cycle forward is not truly a successful call!

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About Richard Ruff

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. During his career Dick has authored numerous articles related to sales effectiveness and co-authored "Managing Major Sales", a book about sales management, "Parlez-Vous Business" which helps sales people integrate the language of business into the sales process, and "Getting Partnering Right" – a research based work on the best practices for forming strategic selling alliances. Dr. Ruff received his Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Tennessee and a B.S. from Rennsselaer Polytechnic Institute.
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