What are the elements of a successful sales call? There are two, 1) know your information and your product or service, 2) understand the specific needs of each prospect you talk to, and address them. Nothing will lose you a sale quicker than sticking to a basic script while your prospect is not interested in going down that road. Yes; you do want to stick with the basics, gather the information that you need so you can figure out the prospects needs and deliver your presentation according to those needs, but you might not always be able to do that in a methodical sequential manner.
Jeff Thull, president and CEO of Prime Resource Group, states that there are four stages to closing a sale, Discovery, Diagnosis, Design and Delivery. He describes it as a process that you walk your customers through to reach the ultimate objective. Whereas he definitely knows his field and his process is a solid one, from my experience there are times when a sequence-based process, that is designed to move orderly and step-by-step, isn’t always possible. Thull’s system is on the money, but prospects are like the weather, you can never predict how they’re going to act or react. With that in mind, when talking to a prospect keep your basic system and outline in mind, but be ready to move with the conversation organically.
Some prospects want to learn everything about the process. They are ones who are eager to go through the step-by-step process. Others are impatient or have very specific questions they want to address that will side-step your basic planned delivery. Prepare for those. Don’t try to stick to a script that will only make an impatient prospect even more impatient.
Practice your calls or presentations. Remember you don’t want this to be a sales call; you want an engaging conversation that educates the prospect, solves his or her problems and offers specific solutions. Your objective is to create a mutually beneficial relationship. You also need to know what your prospects’ true needs are. Each prospective client is different. He or she might be buying the exact same product for service, but for very different reasons. For example, I run a public relations firm. Our job is to place clients on TV, magazines, newspapers, radio, as well as in blogs and social media sites. But that’s just the nuts-and-bolts of our job, what we really do is bring our clients more customers, grow, their business, establish them as experts in their fields, establish their brand, position them as being at the top of their field, etc. Each one of our clients comes to us for a slightly different reason. Some clients are looking for media relations and PR to help sell products and bring in customers, others want to establish themselves as the expert in their field, others want to establish or reestablish their brand. It’s important that I understand what the prospect’s needs are during the initial conversations so that he or she realizes that I do indeed understand what their specific needs are and am addressing them.
The objective is to make it an organic process. As you speak to prospects you are gaining information on which they are, what their needs are, how they communicate and how they think. Use that information to shift and modify your delivery. Speak to their needs. Present yourself as someone they can trust and can solve their problems. Remember, that’s what they’re really looking to buy

Copyright © Anthony Mora 2010

Author's Bio: 

Anthony Mora Communications, Inc. is a Los Angeles-based public relations company that has placed clients in: Time, Newsweek, 60 Minutes, CNN, USA Today, Oprah, The New York Times, Vogue, and other media. Anthony has been featured in: USA Today, Newsweek, The New York Times, , The Wall Street Journal, The BBC, CNN, Fox News, and other media outlets.