For sales professionals, everywhere
I learned long ago from Sharon Drew Morgen that the person who is asking the questions is the person who is driving the interaction AND the person who talks the most in the meeting thinks it’s a good meeting.
When you engage with a prospect / customer, are you actively and consciously engaged? Do you accept it as your role as a sales professional that YOU are the one responsible for driving the conversation? Since sales IS a conversation, the sales professional in the interaction is the one who should be driving the interaction forward—maybe to a sale today or maybe to an appointment—but forward, nonetheless.
Without a clear idea of where YOU want to go, where the prospective buyer CAN to today, and what you need to know to determine the latter, you will be driven by THEIR buying process. You will respond to their questions with merely answers – without another question to forward the action. You will talk a lot about the product or service – without relating it to specific issues that the prospect has told you. You will let them go without a sale or a commitment to meet or speak again – and may or may not know why they didn’t buy – and didn’t ask for the sale or overcome their concerns if they voiced them.
You have the keys to the vehicle – the keys are your knowledge of the product or service you provide, your knowledge of YOUR sales process, and your knowledge of THEIR buying process and the ability to EXECUTE. If any of those are lacking (as evidenced by lack of sales), identify them and put them in and practice. This is YOUR process to drive and if you let the buyer drive, you will both end up in a ditch and wonder what happened.
Now, go sell something.