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- Advancing the Involved Sale Forward in Your Sales Pipeline/Funnel with “Call to Action” (CTA) Next Steps! [ARTICLE]
Advancing the Involved Sale Forward in Your Sales Pipeline/Funnel with “Call to Action” (CTA) Next Steps!
Most sales are not one-and-done interactions, there are multiple needs to be accomplished throughout the selling process and this may mean multiple re-engagement or follow-up interactions will be required to make the final sale. The more interactions necessary to make a sale, the more opportunities you will find that your prospect or current client becomes harder to re-connect with and nail down for that final sale.
You do the math for your industry and organizations, I am sure that you will find that the more involved the sales process is, the more opportunities there are for you in losing the sale, the prospect or the client becomes more difficult to reach.
The art and science of moving forward is to ensure you get the next call-back meeting secured by gaining “buy-in” from your prospect or client with a clear, concise, next action step commitment – a Call to Action.
Remember the five-step selling process we have discussed in this Performance Driven Selling™ professional development series, as each phase in route to the final sale may be an individual smaller sale within itself. Make the next action step measurable and easy for both you and all other parties involved to understand and accomplish, that will allow you to generate and maintain forward momentum all along the consultative selling process. In essence, what you may be selling at each step, is not the end-game or ultimate sale or commitment, it may be that you are selling and closing the other party on the next action step necessary to continue forward towards that ultimate final sale.
If I am face-to-face or engaged on a call with a person that the reality is this is not a one- and-done sale transaction or interaction, then make sure you get confirmation and commitment to the next action step within now, while engaged in your present action step. Examples:
- If you are selling an involved purchase, their may be documents necessary at certain stages to continue onward or specific piece of information for an application process. So, each of these may be the inherent next steps and if not continuously sold, the other party can become frustrated or discouraged and that becomes an opportunity for them to un-sell themselves on You and the Offer.
- If you are recruiting someone to your organization, there may be multiple vetting steps along the way or situations may develop that requires additional documentation, make sure that you keep the other party excited and engaged and sale them on each next step for a reason and not give them any reason to become discouraged or negative, as that will become an un-selling point in their mind. If possible keep them engaged in the next action step by having them proactively gather information, with deadlines to get that back to you so you can continue the forward progress. If you are more excited to recruit them, than they are to join you, you are selling against a lot of potential complacency and negative energy from the side of the prospect, make sure you are continuously selling and closing them throughout the process, the more involved or prolonged it may become.
- If you are selling into a committee or multiple decision makers, become prepared and excited for the opportunity to engage multiple participants. One core reason, if you deliver solutions to them and forge that selling relationship, you may create multiple COIs for what you do – victory. And as you identify the buying roles each serve, you become more versed in your deliverables, as you now may find yourself making multiple selling points and closing on multiple needs for each party involved. Just as you would do in any involved selling/presenting process, make sure here too you identify the next action steps with these participants, get buy-in and confirmation on the next selling step and identify with their agreement what happens after that step. Keep everyone forward focused and not overwhelmed.
So, remember you always need to be consultatively and conversationally moving the contact through your selling pipeline/funnel process, from contact to contract as some would call it. If you know that there is a typical sequence in your selling cycle, you might consider even having a flow document or write one out before them as you start the process, so they know that there are several check-points of what you and they will be doing along the selling-closing process.
Maintain Forward Momentum with Leveraged Connections – It is also critical to recognize the time in between your connections are opportunities for the prospect or customer to stop-out of the selling process. A great way to combat this is to sequence additional added-value reinforcement messaging from YOU to the person(s) that you are engaging to sale or recruit. YOU want to make this an intermittingly sequenced campaign from the first point of slow-down in the selling funnel/pipeline sequence, all the way through to the closure point.
It is critical that you stay focused upon the other person’s most critical need that they will have resolved by your offer and subtly reinforce it with each forward momentum leveraged connection that you draw upon. YOU could have:
- einforcement endorsement letter or message from a client that fits the Profile of the prospect you are working with, that you mail to them, a sort of a drip campaign …
- Reinforcement endorsement message from a client that fits the Profile of the prospect you are working with, that you send to them on their social media platforms, a sort of a drip campaign …
- Reinforcement endorsement message from YOU or a client that fits the Profile of the prospect you are working with, to them as a text message, a sort of a drip campaign …
- Reinforcement endorsement letter or message from another member of your organization, that addresses perceived anxiety in the selling process that they might have, a sort of a drip campaign …
- Reinforcement endorsement letter or message from another member of your organization that they would know and respect, that addresses perceived anxiety or questions in the selling process that they might have, a sort of a friendly drip campaign …
- Reinforcement endorsement letter or message from your “boss” to the prospect you are working with, welcoming them to the process and thanking them for what they are about to do, a sort of a drip campaign …
Call-to-Action Next Sequential Step - If you have determined in the conversation with the prospect or client now, that you will be producing documents or information and sending it them by x-date and x-time, make sure then that you get commitment right then in your conversation or presentation as to when you are to talk next and what that next action step will be at that time.
This allows you to not only ensure forward progression, it also serves as a conversational vetting opportunity to ensure that you have and are continuously qualifying the prospect or customer and thus determine that they are serious about the next action step fulfilling a genuine need set they have. Watch their body language and assess their responses to ensure they are in alignment with the agreed upon next action step. If you sense hesitancy in them agreeing to the action step, then now is the time for further conversation to ensure you are not being led down an ultimate no-sale lane!
Additionally, a few easy professional follow-up and engagement strategies may be to send an email, social media message or text prior to your next call or meeting, “Trust you are doing great, just confirming our call in 30-minutes…” or “Trust you are doing great, just confirming our meeting tomorrow at …” as I have found this simple strategy has served me well in keeping everyone focused and moving forward throughout the interactions and especially at the last minute.
In that most sales are not one-and-done interactions, know you have a better perspective and recognition that there may be multiple needs to be accomplished throughout the selling process and this may mean multiple re-engagement or follow-up interactions will be required to make the final sale. Remember, the more interactions necessary to make a sale complete, the more opportunities you will find that your prospect or current client becomes harder to re-connect with and nail down for that final sale, so by making mini sales and closes along the way you can work against losing connection with the party.
Stay focused and remember the research we have previously discussed, most selling professionals stop engaging and working to make a sale after the third to fourth interaction or attempted contact, and research also indicates most sales actually take place on or after the fifth meaningful interaction.
Advancing the involved sale forward may mean multiple mini sales and clearly defined Call-to-Actions!
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