Sales expert, Andy Preston, explains what to do when someone asks you to send them a sales proposal.
Establish other options
Another word for ‘other options’ would be ‘competition’. Yet I didn’t use the word ‘competition’ in the title because most salespeople then ask a question like ‘what other companies are you asking to quote on this?’
That’s a bad question because the person you’re speaking to will know that you’ll gain an advantage by knowing that information, so will usually say that they ‘can’t tell you’ or ‘it’s confidential’. Therefore you need to ask the question differently.
Asking about the other options they’re considering will usually set the platform for you to get information about other potential suppliers or vendors. It also provides a platform for you to ask further questions about what’s been suggested so far, and their opinions on that too.
Another area you need to question around is their timescales. In order to find out how serious they are about this project, you need to find out when they’re looking to move ahead.
Most salespeople make the mistake of only finding out about when the clients want to implement the new solution, usually by asking for the contract end date.
However, that means they’re often missing out on the more vital piece of information; when they’re going to make their decision. Those same salespeople then call up later, only to find out the client bought from someone else.
The final (and most important part) of any sales situation, is establishing commitment. As much as possible, you want to gain commitment here to you, your company, and to the prospect moving ahead within agreed timescales.
Failure to do this will usually mean that someone else wins the deal, rather than you. Don’t let yourself and your team get caught in that trap.
So, take action on the above and the best of luck with your sales!
Andy Preston is a recognised sales expert who specialises in working with mobile phone companies in particular, helping them generate more appointments, stand out from the competition, and close more deals. You can see and hear more about Andy athttp://www.andy-preston.com/