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How was your Sales Day?

Anand walks into the office at 4:30 p.m. after a hectic day in the field. He had visited 10 accounts and was quite kicked about the way the day went.

He had been able to speak with someone or the other – there was no call that had to be rescheduled to another day. He had met the decision makers in 4 accounts and they had promised to either look at his proposal or give him an update about it next week. Business prospects looked bright for the month.

Just as he started filing the report Mahesh, his boss, looked out of the cabin and said – “Anand, you are back? Let’s chat for a few minutes?” He nodded and happily walked across, notepad in hand.

“So, how was the day?” asked Mahesh.

“It went well, Boss. I could meet all the customers and the response has been pretty decent. I think the month is shaping up well.” Anand responded.

“What about that big one we are expecting from Abacus? Did you meet the Purchase Head to finalize terms? You need that one to reach the month’s target.”

“Boss, don’t worry about it. I went over to meet with the Head, but he was in a meeting. His Assistant was very helpful – said that I can leave all the information with him and he would get back sometime next week after discussion with the Head.”

Mahesh was clearly unhappy – not only had Anand missed the major appointment, but he had left critical information with a junior functionary with no clear deadline for a decision. In effect, he had made no progress.

“And the Prime Finance order? They expressed happy with our proposal when we visited last week? It only a matter of paper-work, the MD had said.”

“I met the MD, Mr. Thomas. He said that the Board wishes to take another look before finalizing – it’s routine, he felt. I have to call again in 4-5 days.”

Mahesh sensed that this prospect too was not ready to close. He reviewed the other visits made by Anand during the day and realized that the picture wasn’t as rosy as it seemed to his team-member.

Mahesh realized that Anand was making an error in considering the courtesy, kind words and promises (to respond) as elements of Call Success. His young team –member had to be coached to analyse and judge the quality of his Sales Calls.

Here is the summary of what Mahesh explained to Anand about A Successful Sales Call:

–          Fix appointment for all the important calls; especially the ones closer to the Order

–          Meet with the decision-maker and discuss terms only with him

–          All Calls should have a clearly stated purpose – the result you expect from the call

–          Prepare the questions to ask during the call

–          A call that doesn’t fulfill the stated purpose isn’t a Successful Call

–          A call that doesn’t take you closer to the final decision isn’t a Successful Call

Let me restate the obvious …
It’s not about the Calls; it only matters when calls turn into Sales. Let’s get our numbers right!

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