In our blogs this month, we’ve been talking about various aspects of a very important subject in sales: control. Control is the second of the 8 core abilities required to be a top salesperson.
Control has negative meanings for some people. They resist control because bad control has been used on them, either in their childhood, in their jobs, or otherwise. Believe it or not, there is such a thing as good control. This could be the subject of a whole book, let alone a single newsletter article—so, for now, let’s stick to control as it applies to sales. For as you’ll see, real sales success cannot be accomplished without control.
What Does It Mean?
As we’ve said several times, successful selling is never about “winging it” and hoping for the best. Control comes in right from the beginning.
In fact, it begins before you ever get in contact with the prospect. You must know all the particular aspects of a specific deal. What product or service are you trying to sell? How well do you understand that product or service yourself? (Hint: if you’re going to sell it, you’d better know it cold.)
Next, why would this prospect, or a prospect’s company, be interested in that product or service? You must learn as much as possible about the prospect and their company. You’ll obviously gain additional knowledge when you speak to them, but what issues or problems might they have, that your product or service might solve?
This is the Research step of the sales process. Research being thoroughly done means that your next step, Contact, will happen smoothly and easily, and reveal genuine points of common interest between the prospect and yourself.
You’ll then need to proceed through each of the remaining sales process steps. As you’ll discover, control of a sale doesn’t happen without a sales process, and it also doesn’t happen unless each of those steps is thoroughly completed.
To learn this sales process in full, visit SELLability.com and sign up for the 80/20 Sales Course.
The Fine Points
Control has fine points, too. You need to be able to guide the prospect’s attention. You need to be able to smoothly control a conversation, without upsetting the prospect or allowing them to take over the sale. You even need to be able to watch the prospect’s emotions and skillfully control them through and out of any upset they might experience.
Skillful control comes in very handy when you come up against a prospect who is demanding or domineering. They’ll often do everything they can to pull you right out of your sales process, several steps ahead. You must remember that the only way you’re going to arrive at a successful close is if you maintain control and complete every step of the sales process. Often your prospect will thank you for having done so, once the sale is finished—it’s happened to us many times.
Control skills are vital if you’re going to gently but firmly guide the prospect through that sales process.
To learn more, sign up at sellability.com.