Daniel is a new sales rep for Elanco Animal Health. He calls on large swine producers in a multi state territory in the Midwest. What does he say is one of his biggest challenges in calling on customers? (Hint: It has to do with sales call goals).
Goals or Objectives for Selling to a Specific Prospect • According to Stephen Covey, one of the seven habits of highly effective people is they “begin with the end in mind”. • Goals, objectives, or ‘ends’ are what you hope to accomplish, where you want to get. • “If you don’t know where you’re going, you just might end up somewhere else.” (Yogi Berra) • Don’t always ‘sell’ something (remember patience is a virtue).
Good Sales Goals are ‘SMART’ S → specific (or precise) → not too vague, not too general M → measurable → quantifiable in numbers wherever possible (e.g. % of business) → need to determine if goal has been met A → attainable → realistic, doable (given resources) R → relevant → sales related → important, meaningful, challenging, motivating T → time-based → long-term (e.g. end of next 3 years) → short-term (e.g. after next sales call)
Selling Strategy • The game plan for ‘how’ to accomplish the desired goal(s) • The major steps/actions/routes to be taken • Without a plan, you may come off as rambling, unorganized • Need to be purposeful in everything you do • Having a plan helps to save time and prevent mistakes
Strategies in Selling • Relationship => developing a long-term, high-quality, partnering relationship with customers, as well as with support staff and management • Product => identifying tangible products, services, information, and ideas that produce the most value, benefits, and solutions for customers • Presentation => establishing objectives for a sales call and a specific plan for accomplishing those objectives uniquely tailored to each customer Source: Reece & Manning
Long-Term Goal/Strategy Example Goal: To obtain 50% of John Parker’s total feed business within 3 years. Strategy: • Arrange initial meeting (e.g. breakfast) to get acquainted and to obtain basic prospect information • Arrange additional meetings to gradually gain confidence, establish credibility, and build a partnering relationship • Invite Parker to advisory board meeting • Introduce Parker to corporate technical staff • Attempt trial program within 1 year • Increase sales gradually after test run
Sales Call Goal Basics • No call should ever be made without a clear goal • Will save time (for you and your customer) • Will help you have a better strategy • Will make you appear more professional (e.g. ask the right questions, avoid talking too much, distinguish yourself from the competition, etc.) • Just stopping by (winging it) is the mark of a real amateur • You need to know why you are there • Your customer needs to know too • To keep in touch may require you to keep coming up with reasons • Appointments or not? (When? Where?) • Depends on prospect, salesperson, situation • Increasingly, customers are wanting appointments • If in doubt, call first
Short-Term Goal Examples (e.g. one sales call) Goals: • To invite Parker to attend a corporate-sponsored meeting as my guest. • To set up an appointment with Parker to discuss our ‘starter’ program. • To get Parker to run a trial with our Super Start feed in one farrowing house. • To get a walk-through tour of Parker’s facilities to better understand his operation.
Sales Call Strategy • A general plan for the open, the presentation, and the close • The Open • How to greet my prospect? • What will I say first? • Rapport building topics? • Observe mood /other traits of my customer. • What questions will I ask to discover/reconfirm needs? • How will I spark interest? • The Presentation • What problem/need do I plan to present a solution for? • How will I present my proposal? • What features and benefits will I stress? • What sales aids will I use? • What concerns/objections do I anticipate?
Sales Call Strategy • The Close • What will I ask my customer to do? • How will I close? • When will I close? • Remember, offering P or other major concessions may not be an option • What will I do/say after closing?
Selling Aids • What? Any sales tool that can help you communicate with a prospect. • Examples: • Three-ring binder with tabs • Photos (product, customers, facilities, test plots) • Reports/research results • Newspaper/magazine articles • Samples • Demonstrations • Customer-specific proposals • Price list • Must be: • Well organized • Easy to understand and use • Convenient • Neat and clean • professional
Selling Goals and Strategies Call #1 + Call #2 + Call #N = Long Term
Goal/Strategy Quotes • The Law of 4 P’s: • Preparation • Prevents • Poor • Performance • There is no shortcut to achievement, life requires thorough preparation. (George Washington Carver)
Goal/Strategy Quotes • Most people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. • It pays to plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark. • If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I would spend 6 hours sharpening the axe. (Abe Lincoln)
Goal/Strategy Quotes • Luck is when preparation meets opportunity. • It takes three weeks to prepare a good ad-lib speech. (Mark Twain) • If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up somewhere else. (Yogi Berra, former New York Yankee)