Plays Generate Success

The main purpose of sales plays is to put the odds in favor of a successful conclusion. For sales people, increasing the odds of success means closing a higher percentage of business. For a basketball team, plays are designed to get a high percentage shot – one that has the highest likelihood of scoring.

Athletics is not the only environment where plays are used to enhance the likelihood of success. Corporate strategies have always been about putting the odds in favor of organizational success. Similarly, financial investors study issues, research conditions, and apply special skills to make a financial play that has greater possibility for sales than uninformed financial gambles.

The plays of Griffin Hill’s Sales Coaching Technology are proven, principle-based concepts that are easy to understand, learn, and implement. Sales people using our Sales Coaching Technology get immediate improvement in results across the sales process. For example, a sales person working in the hospitality industry began using his new plays the first day after attending one of my Sales Training Camps. The play set he used was so successful that after completing the sales call he shouted and danced around the sales floor. Another example of how easy it is to learn and implement sales plays is the financial planning attorney who more than tripled his active pipeline in less than one week.

Sales plays are based on scientific principles of human cognition. The basic plays can be constructed with confidence, rehearsed in advance and successfully duplicated over and over again. Practicing plays improves skill, fluidity, and confidence. A sales person is like a musician. Learning the notes and the rules of music provides the background for learning a complicated piece of music. Learning a musical score requires study, effort and practice. For the musician, practice builds skill and the music flows automatically – without clumsy stops and starts that erode the quality of the performance. A well-practiced musician is confident when performing for an audience. In the same way, a sales person becomes increasingly skilled, fluid, and confident because they don’t have to reinvent a complicated musical score with every sales call. The more athletes, musicians, and sales people understand the rules–the more they practice their plays–the greater their ability to improve in a given situation.

Ask Good Questions

Questions are an excellent way to invite the suspect into conversation. The questions you ask when you first make contact are conversational questions. They seek information but mainly they stimulate conversation. The first question demonstrates your consideration for the suspect.

Sales Person: Good morning Mrs. Brown. I’m Scott Baird from Azure Technology. Melvin Gibson suggested I give you a call. Did I catch you at a good time?

One reason for asking a question here, no matter what the question, is to give the suspect an opportunity to tell you that this is not a good time, that they are busy with something else. This respect for the suspect goes against all the sales doctrine of most sales training, but it adds to your professionalism and respectability.

When you are using a referral source when first making contact, the mutual connection and respect you share with the suspect and the source should be strong enough to keep the suspect from dismissing you without the courtesy of a brief conversation.

Another question is a variation of making sure you are talking to the right person in the organization. The question is slightly more direct than the positioning statement.

Sales Person: Good morning Mrs. Brown. I’m Scott Baird from Azure Technology. I understand you are in charge of Information Technology at Brown and Brown. Did I get that right?

Another question that is frequently used to invite engagement with a suspect is less effective.

Sales Person: Good morning Mrs. Brown. I’m Scott Baird from Azure Technology. How are you today?

The reason for including this example is because it is so prevalent. I don’t like this question because it is a weak question. It doesn’t position you, and it doesn’t secure additional information. Furthermore, the question exposes a lack of sincerity on the part of the sales person. Everyone knows the sales person doesn’t really care about the health or well being of the suspect. On the other hand, my dislike for the question has softened over the years, for the simple reason that “how are you?” is so ubiquitous. It seems that most people really don’t mind that the questioner doesn’t care about the condition of their health. I still maintain it is a weak question and indicates a lack of thought and effort on the part of the sales person.