When do you have the most influence in the sales process?

Even if you’re a solopreneur and you are both the practitioner and the sales person, there are gems in this short article by my friend Ian Altman, who is a genius when it comes to strategically targeting and winning business.  He’s the guy behind Grow My Revenue, so you can pop over there and check out his videos and blog.
At any rate, Ian’s article, Leave Cold Calls to a Superhero, is posted in the Library of Professional Coaching, and he tells us that the initial point of contact with any prospect is when you can have the greatest impact on how you shape your value going forward, so he recommends not leaving that valuable initial influence point up to your junior salespeople. Excerpts from his article are below, and you can always click the link above to read the whole article and download it.

The greatest impact you can have on sales success happens at the beginning and the end of the process. Meaning, the initial conversation and first meeting is where we define the plan for the rest of the interaction. We manage expectations, build rapport, and define the process we will follow together. Most importantly, the first dialog is where we can find, in a non-threatening way, whether or not this opportunity is a good fit for us, and whether or not we want to invest our resources in its pursuit. Is this something you want to entrust to your least experienced team members?
The most successful sales professionals take the time to get involved early in the sales process. In fact, the top performers will often not allow others to touch their prospects in the first couple of meetings.
So remember these three keys to success:

  1. The best opportunities recognize the problem, but have not yet identified the solution;
  2. The greatest influence you can have on how a deal closes has to do with how you start. Get your superstars engaged early to ensure focus on the right opportunities;
  3. Your junior sales people will quickly learn what makes a good prospect.  After taking several prospects through the process with oversight from the superstar, the junior people will be able to start getting involved early in the process

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