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WINNING, Incorporated | Boston, Massachusetts

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Jim Kearney

Have you ever made a prospecting phone call whose central message sounded something like this? We’ve helped our clients (X, Y, and Z) to deliver (so-and-so benefit) with our (Such-and-Such brand product/service), which has (so-and-so feature).

A good sales plan establishes goals, priorities, timetables, and necessary resources. A sales plan that will achieve your ends has 11 simple characteristics.

Have you ever had a series of good meetings with a prospect… gathered all kinds of information... and given what you thought was a great presentation… 

All too often, salespeople focus on the wrong elements to increase sales. They turn their attention to the features, benefits and added aspects of their product or service in an attempt to differentiate themselves from the competition and ultimately convince prospects to buy.

Have you ever given a presentation to a prospect who seemed ready to buy … but found that, for some mysterious reason, the opportunity went nowhere once your presentation was complete?

How do you know if someone is listening to you and understands what you are trying to communicate? You need to get some type of feedback from that person in order to know that s/he was listening, and understood the message you wanted to convey.

Has this ever happened to you? You're in the middle of a discussion with a prospect, and suddenly you're caught flat-footed by what seems like an attack. And then what happens? You fight back. Without much thought, and driven by barely suppressed emotion, you react immediately.

Has this ever happened to you? You had an initial meeting with a prospect. You asked that prospect what seemed to be all the right questions. You had what felt to you like a good conversation, and based on that conversation, you scheduled the next meeting. 

If a big ticket purchase is too intimidating to your prospect, you can use the Monkey’s Paw strategy to sell a small piece of the total sale (analogous to the little ball) … with the up-front agreement from the prospect that, if predefined conditions are met, the balance of the sale (analogous to the big rope) will take place.

The Zeigarnik Effect suggests that beginning a conversation leads to the development of a need to conclude it. And, the resulting tension leads to improvement in memory of the part of the conversation completed thus far. HOWEVER, once the conversation is concluded, the tension is relieved and awareness of the details of the conversation is diminished.