A few years ago I learned a technique that has drastically changed my approach and effectiveness with my sales.

Imagine yourself as a sales manager running a sales team.

At some point in the sales process a sales person is going to place a proposal in front of a perspective client. It’s at this time that the sales manager should hold the sales person accountable by having the sales person do the following.

The Salesperson must be able to exactly describe to management what will happen if we put this proposal on the table.

Now from a sales manager’s perspective this is a critical concern in managing a sales organization or an independent salesperson.

What a sales manager wants to hear is what is going to happen, not what they feel will happen, but what will happen. That’s the goal.

There’s a lot that goes with this simple inquiry, but if you dig deeper and you realize in order to answer that statement there are quite a few other things you would have to know:

  • Have you properly assessed the needs of the client?
  • Does the proposal solve the pain or a need for the client?
  • Is the proposal in the ballpark of what the client is expecting for level of service or fee?
  • Is the prospect or client expecting a proposal?
  • Will this prospector client signed the proposal?

The possible questions could go on and on. What the sales manager expects from the salesperson is to make sure they have properly addressed and solved the prospects needs.

The Power of Knowing

This is a powerful concept to transfer over to any aspect of your business.

I believe if you take this concept and apply it to something such as a networking meeting or even a cold call you should be able to answer that question.

Look at it as if you were a real estate agent and had a possible listing appointment to list someones home for sale.

As an agent you should ask yourself if you know the outcome of this appointment? Do you have enough information about this person’s situation, property, or interest level in listing with you?

I can hear it now, based on my conversations with real estate agents I know the common response I get is… How do I know that information without actually going to the appointment?

There are ways of getting this information before you even schedule an appointment. The key is you should implement these as part of your sales process with a focus to answering the above question with near certainty before you spend your time further on any prospect or lead.

Or take one of our clients here at You Brand who sells telecommunications solutions to small businesses. He does a check before he even sends out a proposal. He makes sure that beyond a doubt he knows the outcome of submitting the proposal.

For him this means knowing at what stage his perspective client is in the buying process.

Are they just shopping rates? Are they seriously considering changing telecommunications infrastructure? Have they committed to giving an answer immediately?

He has a list of questions that must be answered in a positive manner before he will even submit a proposal. This simple step has kept him focused on the true customers and prospects worth his effort.

What’s the point of all this?

First, doing this will save you time by eliminating the time spent on prospects or clients that don’t have the intention to do business with you.

Second, by focusing on a certain outcome you focus your efforts on thinking about the sales process and whether or not you, your product, or your service solves the needs of your perspective client.

I wouldn’t end it there, I would take this concept and transfer it to meetings, phone calls, sending an email, or even networking events.

If you run a small business or are an independent professional holding yourself accountable by asking this question has the potential to drastically change your business.

Can you think of some good lead up questions you need to answer before you can answer this big question? If so please share below in the comments.