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915: An Effective DSR Sales Call with a Prospect or an Existing Customer
An “effective” DSR sales call is more focused on listening than talking. Effective is defined as how well you listen, over time and in multiple interactions, and use what you learn to shape discussions about the value you can provide to the buyer/customer. Your ability to talk about value comes from listening.
Your ability to listen effectively comes from how you pay attention to what the buyers say and what the buyers do NOT say. Some of what a buyer says comes as a result of what we ask. All of what buyers say is what they want you to know at that point in your relationship. The listening and questioning process is where real trust develops.
Many of the activities DSRs do are focused around building trust. Without it, there is very little chance that a customer would ever buy or grow in the business relationship with you. Something as simple as saying you would follow up with answers to questions they had and not doing so can diminish the likelihood of that trust.
Research shows that the biggest factor in determining a buyer’s trust in the DSR, is the buyer’s perception of the DSR’s self-interest. For example, are you really listening or are you just hearing? This is particularly important for Greenhorn DSRs to understand.
What a buyer DOESN’T say is also important. Making good notes about a buyer’s behavior (did they look you in the eye; were they working on other tasks like paying bills; did they give you their full attention, etc.) while meeting with them, and then you need to dedicate time to make an action item to review those notes about the buyer and their behavior as this is essential to effective selling.
Effective sales calls require forethought, preparation, note taking and reflection after the call. Forethought means that the sales call has an objective. The objective is always a specific, measurable action of the buyer. If you want the buyer to state that they are willing to talk with you again, or you want the buyer to agree to try a product you’re recommending, that objective should be identified in advance of your call.
A measurable objective doesn’t just mean dollars; an effective call could also be that the buyer provides you with a key piece of information that helps the relationship move forward.
Many DSRs select an objective without thinking about the impact on the buyer. For each objective, a DSR should be able to answer the question: “Why or how would the buyer/customer benefit from taking the action I want them to take? What’s in it for them?”
An effective call objective should have a CLEAR benefit for the buyer, according to THEIR goals. Most buyer objections arise because the DSR hasn’t been able to identify a clear value for the buyer before the call.
Remember that the point of asking questions, listening, and delivering value is to get the buyer/customer to ACT. If those three steps have been done well, then the least path of resistance will be for the buyer to take action. Encountering obstacles doesn’t mean the call was a failure. In fact, there is as much to be learned if not more from not accomplishing an objective as there is from accomplishing it.
Our research with buyers/operators tells us that lack of follow up and poor responsiveness are the main reasons relationships never get off the ground or are lost.
DSRs, Be a Resource…
and Sell Something!