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During a sales pitch, maintaining control of the process can be the key difference between closing a sale and having the prospect walk away. As a salesperson, you ideally want to be the one in control of where the conversation is going. This can be difficult because prospects and clients will often want to jump in the driver’s seat and take control of your entire process.

Once the prospect gains total control of the sales process, it’s difficult to persuade them or win them over to your way of thinking (unless, of course, they are already extremely motivated to purchase from you).

So, essentially, do your best to maintain control of the conversation.

This is much easier said than done, of course. Prospects are not programmed robots. They are people with agendas and ideas of their own. If those agendas or ideas even remotely conflict with your own, it’s nearly impossible to control 100% of the sales call. You never know – a prospect can start bashing your company/product right away. Worse yet, they can decide to hang up or walk away. These are things that you really cannot control.

That’s why it’s important to focus on the things that you CAN control. Here are the three elements of a sales call that you can control, which will help you guide the sales process to a favorable direction.

Your Attitude

Having a positive attitude is something that starts and ends with you. This is one of those things that can feel like it can’t be controlled, but at the end of the day, you have to have control over your emotions and attitude if you want to be successful in sales. Often times, it’s not about what goes on around you that determines the sale, but how you perceive your environment and how you react to it.

One way to have a positive attitude is to work on being optimistic. Not only do optimistic people seem to have more success, they are able to sustain success over longer periods of time.

Another way to create a good vibe and a positive image is to cultivate the 3 E’s of sales – Energy, Excitement, and Enthusiasm. If you are able to incorporate those in to your sales presentation, you will start to see your attitude improve and will start to see an increase in receptive prospects.

Your Process

Your process, meaning the steps in your sales cycle, is something that you have to be comfortable with and be an expert at. If your process includes 5 steps towards a sale, you should have each and every step memorized. Same rule goes if your sales cycle involves 15 steps.

This goes beyond simply knowing your sales process though. You should be implementing your process in every sales interaction.

Skipping steps, taking shortcuts, and going renegade (avoiding your steps all together) are things that are detrimental to your sales success. This is a controllable because at the end of the day, only you can decide if you are going to stick with your process or not.

Your Skill

Believe it or not, this one can be somewhat controversial. Some people make the argument that you are born with the natural ability to persuade. Some people insist that it can be taught. I do not know what the answer is, but I do know that whether or not you are born with the ability to sell, sharpening your skill by practicing opening yourself up to learning & self-improvement are things that you can control.

In one of my older articles, I wrote about the 2016 Rio Olympians and how they take their natural skill and sharpen it until they are the best in the world. The lessons are the same for sales and business,

It does not matter how naturally good you are. By practicing and constantly improving yourself, you will undoubtedly see an improvement in your sales numbers. While learning and practicing are technically not part of the actual sales presentation, only you can control if you apply those lessons or not during your pitch. Only you can decide if you want to take control and improve in the first place.

As with any people-based business, sales can be a wild game. The key is to control as much of the sales process as you can. By controlling the above three elements of the sales interaction, you will see that it can be quite easy to direct the call in to a favorable direction that will hopefully end in a closed sale.

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Author: Jason Karaman

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