Partners in Performance Blog

Sales Call to Action: Closing Mistake #2

When you are closing sales, who is doing the action in your Call to Action? If it’s only you and not your client, you are guilty of committing Sales Closing Mistake #2. And this will cost you sales results.

Mistake #2: Sales Person is the Only One with the Action Step

The Call to Action in sales refers to CLIENT action. In my sales coaching, I observe, far too often, sales people leaving their sales meetings with a list of follow-up activities that they agree to completing. The problem is they end the meeting without confirming an agreement for action on the part of the client.

Wrong Way/Right Way Example:

Wrong Way:        “I will send you the additional information you requested tomorrow.”

Right Way:           If I send the additional information tomorrow, can we set up a follow up call on Friday to get your reaction and discuss next steps to engage your team? Are you available at 2:00 on Friday?”

I experienced the pain of this mistake first hand many years ago when I agreed to prepare a proposal and didn’t ask the client to do anything on the heels of the meeting.  After spending considerable time developing the recommended solution and preparing the proposal, I attempted to set up the next meeting. Surprise surprise …the client was away on vacation. Later attempts to nail down the meeting time were not successful. The opportunity lost momentum and eventually disappeared.

When I reflected on where I went wrong, I realized that the client didn’t have any ‘skin in the game.’ I was doing all the work without a commitment of action on the part of the client. My lesson was this: I will do my part in setting up follow-up action steps but will also make sure I obtain commitment from my client to do his or her part by asking them to DO something – like open their calendar and give me a convenient time to review the proposal together.

Isn’t this just common sense, you ask? Yes, a commitment of time from the client is a logical ACTION step. But common sense doesn’t always translate into common practice.

Making Client Action Your Common Practice

If an important sales skill is to ask your client to put their ‘skin in the game’ with an action step, then it’s a smart idea to have a number of ‘win-win’ action requests in your Sales Playbook that you can draw from. This preparation ensures that you can choose an action request that is most appropriate for the client and also strong enough to move the action forward… the further and the faster, the better.

Client Call to Action Examples

When closing sales meetings, you can ask your client to agree to the following:

  • Engage other stakeholders, Bring other decision makers or influencers to the next meeting, Review a relevant article, Check out specific sections of your website that will bring value to your client, Send you data or information that will expand your knowledge of the client situation, Conduct a quick survey or poll for them to gain a broader perspective.

There are many ways to do this – what is your favourite?  I am curious to learn more about YOUR experience and challenges with closing skills and the sales Call to Action.

Answer the questions on these quick polls and I will share back the results with you.

This entry was posted by TanjaParsley on July 13, 2012 in Closing Skills, Sales Skills. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback.

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