Making The Internal Sales Call Easy!
I was initially surprised when an international pharmaceutical company asked me to individually coach 4 of their best National Accounts Sales People. It didn't take long to discover why. They had to make the same sale twice - once to their external customer, once to their internal customer.
The Challenge of Making The Internal Sales Call
They made the initial sale to a multiple external customer staff which included a physician, lawyer, financer and operations executive. To make that sale they needed to be creative, flexible, and persuasive. Once the external customer agreed to the sale, the sales person made the second sales call to the internal multiple customer staff that included an in-house physician, lawyer, financer, marketer, and operations executive. This second group expected structure, order, policies, procedures and profit - the antithesis of a creative, flexible, and persuasive sell the first group expected. Needless to say, when excited, happy sales people are confronted by an unhappy internal customer team, their disappointment at having to make the same sale twice gets reflected in their communications.
Communication Habits Reflected In Second Sale
Each of their four best sales people demonstrated in their internal sales calls unacceptable communication habits because of their disappointment with internal criticism and perceived lack of respect.
|#1) Impatient, demanding, of internal people
Doesn't ask for big R.O.I.
|#3) Provides infrequent feedback
Sells too hard internally
|#2) Doesn't provide sufficient internal feedback
|#4) Talks over people, doesn't listen
Goes to bottom line too quickly
Coaching Successful Sales People Is Quick
They already know the skills needed to sell - Get Attention, Sell Benefits, Anticipate Disagreements and Ask for the Business. They just forget to use them when confronted by their own company executives demonstrating lack of interest and perceived disrespect.
I asked them one question, which started us on the road to success.
"Would you ever talk to one of your external customers the way you talk to internal customers?" The light goes on! Their answer is obvious. So is my next statement-
"Make Every Conversation A Sales Call and particularly to the internal customer staff."
3 Coaching Concepts Needed To Make Every "Internal" Conversation A Sales Call
|"Your price is too high"||"Doesn't meet our requirements"|
|"Need to consult with associates"||"We love the competitor"|
Coaching Sales Executives To Make The Internal Sales Call Easy
After Sales People make the external sale, they can complete the internal sale by:
- Making Respect of Self/Others The Foundation Of Every Internal Sale
- Practice Expected Disagreements from the Internal Customer Staff
- Master The Listening Skills of Responding To Emotional Reactions
When they have mastered these three fundamentals, making the internal sale IS easy!
By Peter deLisser
©2002 Peter deLisser. All rights reserved.