Partners in Performance Blog

Sales Call to Action: Stupid Mistakes Smart People Make


Are you converting enough of your sales as fast as you’d like? If not, maybe it’s time to examine what you’re doing with your sales closing strategy and specifically your Call to Action.

Many factors are out of our control when it comes to how long it takes to close business. For example, we have to work with our clients to meet their specific timing requirements. And certainly internal changes in the client organization can cause delays.

But there are also many things that are totally in our control.

My philosophy is this:
I want to make sure that I am not inadvertently contributing to the length of the sales cycle by the things that I am doing or not doing.

One of the easiest ways to get more sales and shorten your selling cycle is to shore up your closing skills. Time and time again, I observe sales people not executing their Call to Action effectively. Many different mistakes are commonly made by even the smartest people.

Mistake #1 – Not Asking

If a key purpose of a sales meeting or presentation is to close business or have your client take action that will move the sale forward, then you need to let them know what action you want them to take. What is the best ‘first down’ in the game that will advance the ball?
Surprisingly, far too often, the call to action is left out altogether. Don’t assume they’ll intuitively figure out for themselves what you want them to do. Tell them or ask them to do it.

I knew a woman named Suzie who was the all time top sales producer year after year in a company I worked at early in my career. People in management and her peers would ask, “Suzy, what’s your secret?”

Suzie would always respond in the same way with a smile and these words, “All you have to do is ask!”

It’s that simple.

But if it’s that simple what stops people from asking? Is it that people are not aware of what they are (not) doing? Perhaps.

When I explore this question with people I coach in my training workshops, the answers I get are often due to hidden limiting assumptions. People are afraid they will appear pushy and that asking for action will harm the relationship. They also fear rejection. Heaven forbid!

When we become aware of the impact of our limiting assumptions on our behaviours and sales results, we quickly realize that learning how to ask a clear Call to Action is time and energy well spent. Sharing and documenting best practices of how to phrase a Call to Action is a smart tool to develop.

We’ll continue this thread of conversation around common mistakes smart people make with the Call to Action in upcoming posts.

I’m curious. What common mistakes do you make or observe in others?

Please contribute your thoughts and write me a comment.


This entry was posted by TanjaParsley on June 29, 2012 in Closing Skills, Intentional Selling™, Sales Skills, Selling Cycle. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

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