April 29, 2011

Mental Picture of a Sales Call

When you hear “sales call,” what mental image pops into your mind?

I love going along on sales calls with my clients. I always learn a ton, it’s fun being the extra person in room and I get some great fodder for future coaching content. It is amazing how the salesperson’s mental picture of how the call should look and feel dramatically affects the dynamic of the meeting and the prospect’s response.

I found this picture last month (on istockphoto.com – what a tremendous resource!) and have been using it as part of a coaching session on structuring sales calls. Study the image for a moment. What comes to mind as you look at the setting, their interaction, faces, posture, positioning?

It’s been interesting to hear sales teams sharing their thoughts about what’s taking place in that meeting. My favorite things that the picture communicates:

We’re in this together. We’re talking with each other. We’re on the same side of the table – symbolically and literally. There is no “presenting” at someone. There is no projector.

One salesperson shared something profound: She said “you can’t tell who’s selling whom.” Brilliant thought.

So I ask again, when you hear the words “sales call,” what images come to mind? What emotions stir up inside of you? If asked to outline the flow of a call, how would it look if you had full control? (which by the way, you absolutely can have full control – even in the type of call pictured above)…. Something to think about…

Here are a few links to related posts from last year on the Initial Sales Call, Why I hate the word “Presentation” and a way to Redeem the Presentation.

Happy Selling, er, I mean, Happy Dialoguing 🙂