You would think that after 15 years of talking to prospects about sales training I wouldn’t forget to ask any questions during initial conversations.
I recently spoke with the COO of a mid-size company about delivering sales training for his team. Everything, I mean, everything was going well.
We had an intelligent conversation about his goals and objectives. We discussed what he wanted he wanted to accomplish and we talked about previous programs he had embarked on and the results he had achieved.
I submitted a proposal and followed up as promised. During that subsequent conversation he indicated that I had addressed every key issue and that he was eager to schedule a sales training workshop for his team.
That’s when I hit the roadblock.
As we discussed the timing of the program he said, “I just want to run this by my President and CEO to make sure they’re onboard with it.”
As Homer Simpson would say, “Doh!”
I made the common assumption that he was the key decision maker because he was a high-ranking executive in the company. I believed that he owned the decision. I was wrong.
Simply put, I forgot to ask a key question…
“Who else will you consult with before moving ahead with this decision?”
It’s a simple question. But one that often goes unasked.
If you want to increase your sales it is critical that you ask this question early in the sales conversation. Force yourself to ask who else is involved and make sure you have a conversation with them BEFORE you submit a proposal. Otherwise, your best efforts can result in a no-sale.