April 18, 2022

#34 - Wrapping Up a Sales Call

#34 - Wrapping Up a Sales Call

A really good sales call should lead to the next step. But to make that happen, it takes planning and preparation. In this quick 10 minute episode, Brendan and Bob talk about how you can make the most of a sales opportunity by thinking about how to end the conversation... and getting everyone ready from what happens next.


A really good sales call should lead to the next step. But to make that happen, it takes planning and preparation. In this quick 10 minute episode, Brendan and Bob talk about how you can make the most of a sales opportunity by thinking about how to end the conversation... and getting everyone ready from what happens next.

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Transcript

 Hi, you've stumbled into another episode of Let's Chat Sales. And in this episode, we're talking about how you wrap up a sales call, and this is such a critically important component of a sales process and the call itself... is getting the end of the call right. And so that's what we talk about today. I think it's kind of fun. So if you like, then you know what to do, do the dooblie-do down here somewhere. 

And, uh, let's get started.  

Hey Bob. So it's another edition of Let's Chat Sales. !!!!!!!!!!, You're nuts, man. I gotta get me a new a sidekick. So today we're going to talk about how to wrap up a conversation, a sales call, any kind of a dialogue. How to make sure that you get to an effective ending.

Does that sound about right? Yeah. 

And this could apply to a call. This could apply to a meeting. This could apply 

to a luncheon (who does 'luncheons'?!), 

could apply to a net where you meet someone at a networking event and you're having a good discussion and you're just trying to figure out.  

So  the problem we're wrestling with, is that you get to an end of a conversation or whatever

and you assume that you know what the ending is... and what the next step or the next step is. And... that's a dangerous assumption to make and probably wrong or could be wrong. There are ways to get around that. So I guess before we go to the solution, let's talk about the problem a little bit. Why does that happen?

 

Can we make it really clear? Yeah, because I think the examples thing. So I did a sales call about two weeks ago. It was a 45 minute call. We had a great discussion. At the end of it, I was convinced these people were going to like sign a contract that afternoon.

 I said to them, Hey so what do you see the next step being? And they said, oh, we have to kick this around in our committee. And then we're going to have to run it to the BP. Oh, yes.

That contract is going to be 

signed today. Yeah... so not done. So that's the assumption is you think it's this and that, and the customer thinks it's this. Or the customer doesn't know. That's the other thing. They don't know what the next step is. So the assumption is the dangerous part of this equation.

 You know what the next step it was. You get to the end and don't establish what that next step is. Right. That's the most 

detrimental

thing. 

Yeah. So just real quickly, let's, let's chat about that because,  I make a point  as I'm having a sales call, any kind of discussion, I'm oftentimes taking notes.

So I'll have my notes...  in particular, I do this thing where I, if there's an action.

I'll write it down and I have a little star and a circle around it, just so I can see it  in my notebook. I can spot it immediately. Oh, that's an action. That's something that has to take place. And so as we're going through call a conversation, I'll, I'll be taking down notes and if there's some action, some responsibility, some next step that's surfaced. Your actions and their 

actions or just your cations? Just all of them.

Okay. So anything... if someone says, I need to check on whether we have that software. Yeah, 

it's a note. And has a circle and a star. And if it was something for 

you to check on. Can... either way... net 60 or whatever. I just wanted to be clear cause I wasn't quite sure. 

I'm keeping track of everything that's going on  in the call. Basically I just want to know what are all the things that are the moving parts, the things that have to happen going forward, and that could be, that could be questions that we don't know the answers to, or maybe other people that we need to talk to.

If someone mentions a name and says, oh, we need to get Bob Jones involved in this... I'm writing down Bob Jones, question mark. And these are all to do items. Now you've heard me talk about this a lot in the past, and that is, if you've got a meeting, you've got a call that's scheduled for 30 minutes.

You want to be wrapping it up in 20... so you have cushion, you have time to cover the stuff that we're now making a list of. Because then, what I typically do that's really useful is I'll say at the end, and this literally happened right before you and I got on a call, I, I just got off the phone with a customer and I had this very thing happened where I reiterated what needed to happen next.

And so what I'll do is... I'll say, Hey, I've been taking some notes or I wrote down some stuff. Here are the things that I heard. I may just summarize the meeting in general, the conversation. Here's what I heard, blah, blah, blah, ABC, whatever. Here are  the action items I, I wrote down, we gotta do this ...A..., we gotta do this.

We gotta do this. And if I know I'm may very well say... hey, this is something you're doing. I have to get you a proposal. I have to get you some paperwork on this. There's an open question here regarding this kind of feature or whatever it is, and I'll follow up with you on that.

And then you're going to schedule the next meeting. Should we do that? And these are all things that I try and do because in the last few minutes of the call, I want to make sure I know what the next steps are. And in a lot of cases, it's a clarifying question. You may very well need to say... as I'm sure you're thinking, is it, did I miss anything or is that right?

Are we on track? Is there something else we need to do? 

Are you capturing due date? For those things, when you're saying, if you say to the customer, Hey Steve I see here that you need to check with your committee and make sure that your committee is on board with this proposal. Do you ask them then... when do you anticipate having that completed?

Yeah. Can you have that done before our next call?   Of 

course, setting task and deadline, task and deadline for everyone, including 

yourself. Yeah.  I have a followup, I got to get you an answer to the question. I'll get you that in the next day I'll get you.

I'll get you an answer for that. Now, the important thing. And this is kind of a ancillary, but the important thing is when you make commitments like that, you want to make sure you hit them. So don't commit to have something later today. If you know, you can't get it by later today. If someone's out and you, you need to talk to someone and they're critical to getting an answer, then don't commit to that.

 There's no harm in saying. I'll get back to you. I don't exactly know when. I'll get you, but I should be able to follow up with you. And at a minimum, I'll tell you when I can get it later, I was going 

to say, I'll say I can update you in the next 24 hours on where I am with it. 

Yeah.

Whatever that is... you want to put yourself on the hook to get something done, but you want to get it within a timeframe because it's so much of it is about expectation. If you can get something done ahead of time. These are little things that, that the customer measures... the customer sees, you know, they see progress.

Plus the other thing about this is... you're staying front of mind and when you're staying front of mind, you're less likely to be put off to the side so they can focus on some other thing. You can make your initiative a priority. But part of doing that is establishing that ongoing momentum.

These are the things that need to happen next. And the best time to do that is while you have the customer at the end of the call where you.... together, professionally go through... hey, here's what I see happening... is that right? What do we need to do from your side? What from this meeting do we need to do next, 

I think for the customer, too... often when they're in these sales meetings, there's a certain amount of vomiting of information. Yeah.

And complaining and wishing and dreaming. And if you, as the salesperson can harness that into concrete action steps. Yeah. I think that's one of the things that they're looking for, you know, taking the chaos and bringing clarity at the end of the meeting is a real sign to me when the sales person does that, I immediately trust them.

Yeah. It's like, wow. They were able to take all these disparate things and bring it back to this thing and say, okay, here's the next step. That's why you're talking to a salesperson. 

Now, do you follow up after you have that action list of next steps? Do you follow up with an email highlighting all of those? Yeah. And how far after the meeting do you typically try to send that to them? 

I try and do the same day. It depends on the day. You can have a call at the end of  the evening. You may not get to it the next day, but you really want to have some sort of summary in place because it reestablishes that you're following up on things. And you're in control. 

The thing that I find really powerful about at the end of the conversation where you say... here's, what I heard. Here are the things that we need. What you're saying is, what you're conveying very specifically is... I've been listening, I've been paying attention . And I care. And you care. And you're thorough.  One of the things about salespeople is they oftentimes get a bad reputation because they deserve it. And that is, they wing everything. They, they sort of just think they're the sales going to happen. They don't view it as a craft.

They don't view the sales process as a methodology and as a, as a craft. And so, in that regard, if you do those sorts of things...  if you're able to make sure  at the tail end of a conversation... you're summarizing, you're validating. You're curious. What do we miss?

Is there anything we didn't hear that you wanted to hear? What you're basically saying when you ask that is... you're opening your self up for criticism. Hey, what did I miss? What should we have done? What didn't you hear that you needed to hear about?

You're basically telegraphing  to them... hey, I'm listening. I'm open for criticism. If there's something I need to do better. People  interpret that as being a human being, as being vulnerable, being open to improvement. That's a good position to be in when you're in sales. That invokes trust and a shared willingness to work together. Yeah. 

This person's in my corner. Yeah.  I think a lot of buying decisions, even big, multimillion dollar projects come down to that. I absolutely believe in this sales guy, he's going to deliver this for us.

And I don't think founders always think about it that way. They think about it's all about the product or the service. Those are important. Yep. Your passion and your ability to manage this process can really take you a long way because it shows that you're outside of your own head. 

You want this to advance. You want the customer to be successful. So you've actually told them, here are the things you, you can do to help us. Here are the things I can do to help us. And we go from you and me, which is how the sales call begins to ultimately us. Right? 

 That's what you're working towards is that kind of shared... the collaboration. A genuine kind of partnership because it should be a mutual win. You get a customer that's happy and referenceable and generating referrals, they get a better solution. They save money. They make money. Their life got easier.

That's the transaction that you want to take place. It's not the revenue. It's the rest of it is where you really need to focus. And by being kind of methodical at the end of a conversation where you stop and validate and confirm, these are the things I think that you have to allow time at the end of a conversation for that..

So anyway, that's what I wanted to cover 

today. Yeah, no, I think it was great discussion. I really enjoyed it. I got some good nuggets out of it. 

 

All right. All right. Oh, he's 

always a privilege.

 I gotta stop recording. 

All right. So that was another episode of Let's Chat Sales. Thanks for listening and or watching actually, I guess you watched, and if you would like to check out another one, uh, they're short. Right. I think this one right here.