Even internal and reactive salespeople should be fully skilled in asking a small number of basic questions regarding precise requirements, time scales, budget, competition etc. before they are prepared to reveal their price and delivery.
External salespeople have the opportunity to meet with prospective customers and it is far easier to extract information face to face, than it is via the telephone. However, it is vital that some initial answers are elicited prior to that first exploratory meeting in order to ensure that the meeting will be worthwhile to both parties.
With sales costs spiraling upwards and sales time becoming limited, considerable prudence is required on the part of the salesperson.
During that first meeting, a considerable amount of detail can and should be uncovered - e.g. background and history of the company, the key individuals, the composition of the DMU (Decision Making Unit) if there is one, timescales, budget, competition, current suppliers, buying criteria etc.
Only by rigorous questioning will the salesperson be able to answer the following questions when they get back to the office:
Is there a requirement / need that my company can satisfy?
Is it winnable?
Do I want it?
The very best sales professionals will not pursue the opportunity, after proper objective analysis, if the answer to any of those questions is "No". They will rather invest their precious selling time seeking out and closing opportunities that will provide a profitable return on that investment.
So, with all of that in mind, I am giving you the opportunity to download a second FREE eBook this week - "The Value of Rigorous Opportunity Assessment" - HERE
News: Unless you have been shacking up in a Tibetan monastery for the past four weeks, you will know that nominations close at midnight (Eastern) over at the 2011 Top Sales & Marketing Awards Then the task begins of selecting the finalists from the huge amount of nominees - we expect to be able to make that announcement by Friday, and open the voting polls.