COUNTERPOINT: No One Wins When the Sales Manager Sits Idly by While a Sales Rep Torches a Prospect
The wrong thing to do in such situations is nothing. And there is no reason whatsoever not to step in and by doing so to:
- Save the sale;
- Preserve the prospect;
- Develop the sales rep.
When an energetic and informed sales manager sees a sales rep destroying a sale the right thing to do is to step in and to do so promptly. This is also very easy to do. The sales manager can simply say something such as:
“One minute if you please everyone, I have a question”
Having entered the conversation the manager can now get the discussion back on track by:
- · Getting the prospect’s real need or problem clearly identified;
- · Asking the prospect for their views on what they have heard so far;
- · Dealing effectively with whatever comes up.
With this information to hand the manager, in concert with the salesperson, can now complete the discussion to a successful conclusion by:
- · Demonstrating to the prospect that their specific need or problem has been understood;
- · Recommending a solution consisting of products, services, or both that are specifically, designed to give the prospect what they need or to solve their particular problem;
- · Verifying with the prospect that this is indeed a proper, practical, and effective solution.
Compare the above with just sitting there while a poorly trained or misinformed sales rep turns a closable prospect into hamburger. And please remember that a prospect so mistreated is also very unlikely to give your firm a 2nd chance. So does it really make sense to sacrifice a firm’s potential business when there is no logical reason for doing so?
As far as the salespeople are concerned, they will be a lot happier earning a commission on a deal the sales manager saved for them rather than coming away empty handed. And turning to the training aspect of this situation, all the manager needs to do immediately after the appointment is to:
- Sit down with the sales rep in a quiet place;
- Explain why he intervened;
- Indicate exactly what the sales rep was doing wrong and why it was wrong;
- Review exactly what actions the sales manager took to intervene and why these specific actions were undertaken;
- Make totally certain that the sales rep understands the above and why the actions taken by the manager were the right ones.
When this is done the goals as illustrated above will be achieved namely:
- · Saving the sale;
- · Preserving the prospect (and his sanity);
- · Developing the sales rep.