What is the goal of a sales call?
Close the sale?
Receive approval for your proposal?
Secure a meeting with the CEO?
Yes. These are all possible goals of sales meetings. But there is another goal that transcends all of these. The goal of every sales meeting—yes, every sales meeting—is to create a relationship-building encounter.
This is not what always happens in practice. Sales training has taught us the value of a solid, sequential sales process, where we have learned how each step in that process leads to the next step: The purpose of a cold call is to get a meeting, the purpose of the first meeting is to get a second meeting, and the purpose of the second meeting is to be invited to make a proposal, etc. Of course, these are natural steps in the sales process. But what happens frequently is that sales people are so focused on getting to the next step that they miss the chance to have a great encounter during the meeting they are in at the moment. (It's also very obvious to a customer if a salesperson is more focused on what they can "get" from this meeting than on having a good meeting at this time. They can see the salesperson thinking ahead.)
What great salespeople know is that the sequential sales process is subservient to the current meeting. They know that the best way to get to the next step in the process is to create a relationship-building encounter in the present. (I’ve got a free ebook, Encounters, available by subscription at my website, www.yastrow.com if you want to learn more about creating relationship-building encounters.)
When you focus on "now," the future will come of its own accord.