It’s the unicorn of sales outreach – closing prospects on the first call.
A sales leader who has a stellar record of this is Bob Bolton, a man whose career in advertising sales put him at the top of his field. We sat down with Bob and discussed how salespeople could achieve a one-call-close, or at the very least, shorten their sales cycle by leaps and bounds across all their prospects.
Before we attempt to achieve the impossible, Bob said it’s critical to begin with what happens before you’re ear to ear or face to face with your prospect. And that means preparing for success long before the sale is on the line.
“The most important thing you can do to shorten your sales cycle is research, research, research,” Bob said. Knowing what your prospect’s priorities are and what goals their company is shooting for will create a lot of credibility and allow you to show up prepared to help your prospect instead of burning a lot of time trying to figure out if it’s even a good fit.
Next, Bob says that another thing salespeople can do to prep for more successful one call closes is what happens after a meeting. By dissecting sales meetings as soon as they’re done and capturing what worked well and what didn’t (and putting a plan in place to replicate successes and shore up challenge areas), salespeople can ensure they’re showing up to their next sales call better prepared to close faster.
With those pieces in play, we can begin to build a sales system today that will help you be ready for the next one-call close that might come your way.
Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.
T -Trigger: The trigger for your one call close system happens whenever you find yourself in a sales call where you have researched the prospect’s company, their personal profile, their industry, and can bring lessons learned from similar prospects to play. This means getting some reps under your belt before attempting a one-call close on a prospect, but Bob says that time is well worth the investment.
R – Repeatable: To make this system repeatable, it needs to be accessible. For many salespeople, that looks like a pre-meeting checklist or sheet pf paper where you can track the top challenges you plan on discussing with your prospect, the most common objections you’ve heard from prospects like this one (and how to turn them around), and of course the missing pieces that will allow you to fill in the blanks in your research to present your product or service as something worth investing in today rather than next month of next year.
I – Improvable: To improve this system, Bob advises salespeople change the order of their questions. What this means for salespeople like you is trying new things in their sales conversations. This ‘forced growth’ allows you to test new questions and meeting agendas to see what works well and what doesn’t. If a salesperson tries something new and it doesn’t work, it can still lead to success if the salesperson captures that lesson and applies it to the next sales meeting.
M – Measurable: Bob takes a different approach to improving this sales system. Instead of tracking metrics, he advises sales leaders get out into the field with their salespeople and see what’s happening firsthand. Then, Bob explained, leaders can measure the types and frequency of the challenges their salespeople experience during these one-call close attempts.
If you’re working solo or don’t have a sales manager willing to get into the field, then you can measure the new objections you hear, your closing success, and the problems you run into that delay the closing process (meeting with confirmed decision makers, leveraging industry research conducted beforehand, etc.).