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Feb 13, 2018 10:18 pm | Tema Frank

NEVER Ask This Question on a Sales Call! - Frank Reactions

We’ve all heard it. Many of us have even been tempted to ask this question on a sales call.

Dont waste your prospects time

Are you kidding me?? Provide insight on a sales call.

The Sales Call Question You Should Never Ask

You are nervously wondering what you’ll ask when you go on that sales call, and some well-meaning person advises you, “Ask them what’s keeping them up at night.”


Maybe it was good advice once upon a time, but as Matt Dixon, co-author of The Challenger Sale, explains in today’s Frank Reactions Podcast interview, asking that question now — when information is so easy to find online —  is just showing that you’ve haven’t done your homework before the sales call.

You should already have a hypothesis about what’s keeping me up at night,” Dixon explains. Discuss that hypothesis with your prospect and then (once you can see that you’ve hit the mark) tell the prospect how your clients are solving that issue.

Give them insight that they didn’t have before. If you can do that, they will see you as the expert they need.

[This is part 2 of my interview with Matt Dixon. The first part focused on customer experience, and his book, The Effortless Experience.]

Marketing & Sales Must Work Together

It boggles my mind how, in so many companies, marketing and sales are still not only separate departments, but see themselves as rivals!

I’ve often thought about writing a book about this. (How about Marketers Are From Mars; Salesfolks Are From Saturn?)

The good news is that both sides are starting to realize that they need each other.

Depending on what stats you read (and on the industry) 60 -75% of the sales process now happens before the sales call. In fact, potential clients don’t want a sales call; they’ll call you when they are ready.

Insight Selling

If your head's down in the weeds, you miss things. Good sales reps help you see them.

Help your prospects see through the weeds. Give them insight.

“Insight selling,”  says Dixon, “is an approach that requires both sales and marketing.”

“Part of the reason there was this rift between marketing and sales is that they just had nothing to collaborate on,” he adds.

To sell with insight means reframing the way the customer perceives their world. Finding the crucial insights that they are too thick in the weeds to be able to see.

Can Your Company Deliver?

To be effective at sales, your company first needs to look inward. Your marketing team needs to ask itself:

  • Is what we are claiming really unique?
  • Is it credible?
  • Can we deliver?
  • Is it defensible?

Once the answer to all those questions is yes, comes the time to develop the story to put in the hands of the sales department.

Can Your Sales Team Deliver?

Not all salespeople will be able to get comfortable with this approach to selling. Some may need to leave.

But with good coaching, many more can learn to be great insight sellers. Do your sales managers really know how to coach?

“Most sales managers confuse coaching with performance management,” says Dixon. They do “spreadsheet coaching.” This does not lead to effective sales people or successful sales calls.

What creates effective sales calls?

The messaging and the manager are the two most important things.

Get those right, and your growing list of clients will thank you.

If you missed it, check out part 1 of my interview with Matt Dixon: Does Customer Effort Score Trump Net Promoter Score?  

Also, check out these episodes to learn more about sales.

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