Many calls fail when salespeople take a passive role in front of buyers. Many don't want to risk being perceived as aggressive or pushy.

Buyers only need to frown or growl for them to take control of the meeting. When this happens it is the end for the sale. Meeting control is in the hands of buyers.

It's the same as the seller saying, "I'm not confident in myself, in the products nor the price I will offer. I am also not very bright."

If you think this isn't happening, you haven't had enough salespeople call on you. Often the reason buyers try to take control is to reduce the time they'll spend with inept salespeople.

To have an effective sales call, you must know the buyer's and the company's needs for your product and services. The interview segment of the sales call is the decisive moment in selling. All your training, preparation and planning is aimed there. Don't blow it.

You could be the most competent salesperson buyers have ever seen or heard, but they have no way of knowing unless you are able to present yourself properly. If you can survive those first ugly moments, you stand a chance of creating a good customer. Many times the only way you will be heard and be able to present yourself is to take charge of the meeting.

Think about yourself in front of buyers. I have said on many occasions that self-evaluation after every sales call is required to improve performance. If you do this, your closing rate will rise and buyers will look forward to your next visit.


How do you react to take-control buyers? How do you present yourself? Is it effective?

All salespeople work differently; some are very successful and some make just a living. The difference is a very fine line. Average salespeople do only the minimum to make the sale and once it's made, they leave. Often this is where the top salespeople make a big difference.

Here's an example of a salesperson going the extra step. A person taking one of my classes sat with me during lunch and started talking about add-on sales and how important they are.

Early in his career, when he was selling life insurance, he had an experience that would stay with him the rest of his life. He had just sold a $100,000 life insurance policy. About six weeks later, he saw the client again and thanked him for the sale. He then asked this customer if he had thought about taking out an annuity for his child's college education. The customer said, "That's funny you should mention that. We purchased an annuity a few days after you sold me the life insurance. If you had mentioned it, we would have bought it from you."

We spend many hours talking about the add-on sale with the inside-sales people. We don't talk much about looking for the added sales on the outside-sales call. If you are a contractor and you sell a replacement furnace, why not talk about a humidifier or electronic air cleaner? Making great sales calls requires knowing your abilities. Ask yourself these questions:

On ‘big' sales, do you make opportunities for other deals?

Are you confident before you start an interview?

Do you take charge?

Have you ever asked for advice from a senior salesperson?

Do you have associated items you can sell on every call?