It continues to amaze us that some organizations appear to not understand the significant skill set that is different in hunting oriented direct reps vs. a rep that is focused on technically being proficient and also on nurturing existing clients that they have always known. Like anything in life if you don’t work hard at learning or improving your skills you default to what you know and in some instances this really does affect the bottom line. In the sales channel in particular we see an incredible amount of relationship selling and farmer mentalities and hardly any true hunter skills consistently deployed by our client’s channel partner direct sales team. A key difference is especially felt, during an initial conference call meeting. Most introductory meetings are precisely that… introductory. Most people won’t tell you their pains or their issues up front. Instead they want to be educated, know you are educated about their company, position, tools, etc. If they are ready to buy, they would have already called you or made that decision,. They don’t always know what they don’t know is a smart mindset on both sides of the call.
We encourage you to ask yourself the following questions if you are in sales or if you are a marketer thinking about how to support your sales team:
- What would I do if the prospect really isn’t warmly greeting me and just opening up to me? How do I bridge that hurdle?
- Do I set a reasonable outcome at the beginning of the call “taking the pressure off of the assumptions on the prospects side that you are just trying to sell them something as opposed to a potentially powerful resource?”
- What do I do with the limited information I have for this call? What do I want to learn on this call, what do I need to get this call further qualified and to begin to build a potential business relationship?
- Did I do my homework before the call, for example do I know about his company from a high level or did I review his LinkedIn experience before the call so I don’t offend him by throwing out terms that are not relevant?
- What am I expecting to get out of this call? What is my goal is it to simply have them get a proposal (very unrealistic) or have them tell me about items that I can come back to with them to build credibility to bridge to the next meeting?
There are hundreds of additional thoughts here but we felt that this was worth sharing initially.