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Does Focusing on the Process Pay Off?

April 4, 2024
Does Focusing on the Process Pay Off?

Every company that has a sales staff should have a sales process. The process should be followed by everyone who could potentially speak with a prospect, whether on the phone, in person, or online. The sales process is a system of best practices that have been learned over the years through experience. That being said, we often favor shortcuts instead of proven methods that are more meticulous.

Often, a salesperson prejudges the sales opportunity and decides the prospect can’t afford their product or will go with a cheaper competitor. When that happens, the tendency is to abandon the sales process, as the salesperson has already decided what the result will be. Of course, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Years ago I was on an in-home sales call with a salesman who worked for a client of mine in California. When the salesman and I greeted the homeowner, her first words were, “Just so you know, you are the first of 3 companies I have coming out to give me a price. I am a purchasing agent for a hospital, and I ALWAYS get 3 bids.” Notice she said, “…coming out to give me a price.” She didn’t say bid or presentation because price is often the bottom line prospects want to hear instead of the full benefits they’ll receive when doing business with you.

Upon learning that we had a professional buyer on our hands, it would have been very easy to abandon the process and just focus on getting the price as low as possible. That was especially the case here because my client is a premium quality and service company, and they simply do not compete on price. They are never going to be the cheapest solution, but they offer outstanding service and quality. As a result, the company has grown beyond their wildest expectations.

Consistency is Everything

Despite the prospect’s proclamation about 3 bids, I confronted the “3-bid myth” head-on during the sales presentation. I asked her, “Ma’am, have you ever known anyone who got 3 bids for a project for their home and ended up choosing the wrong company?”

“I am sure it happens,” she responded.

I continued, “Have you ever had a bad experience with a contractor in your home?”

“No. I’ve been very fortunate, but it’s because I do my due diligence.”

I could see she wasn’t going to concede anything. She was a very sharp lady, and she did not want to give me any ammunition. Yet I persisted because I’m pretty sharp, too.

“I must tell you, ma’am, you are one of the luckiest people I’ve ever met. Almost everyone I’ve ever met has had problems with contractors in their home. You should play the lottery,” I said through a wry smile.

She smiled a little but said nothing, but I wasn’t going to give up. After all, this was a training sales call, and I had one of my client’s top salesmen with me. I wasn’t going to get punk’d in front of him.

So, I forged on. “Ma’am, are you kidding with me? I mean, you’ve never had a problem with a contractor?”

She stared at me for a few seconds, and then I smelled blood in the water when she said, “Well, there was the one time with the guy who remodeled my bathrooms.” She glanced at her husband, and I knew I was making progress.

Sales Process Vs. Sales Result

“What happened?” I asked.

“It ended up taking twice as long as it was supposed to, and the change orders ended up doubling the price. I wasn’t very happy.”

It was time for me to go for the kill. “How did you find him?”

Slowly, she said, “I talked to a few friends about who they used, then did my research and met with several companies.” She smiled at me and said, “I guess that’s your point, isn’t it?”

I immediately asked her the key question. “Ma’am, if on one hand you had 3 bids from 3 companies who could say anything to get your money, and on the other hand you had our company, who would guarantee you high quality and a ‘no change order’ guarantee, which of those would you prefer?”

“I see what you’re saying,” she responded.

“Does that mean you would prefer our company?” I asked.


I knew in that moment I had the deal. And about an hour later, we walked out with the order for a premium job at a premium margin.

My point is you cannot afford to prejudge the result and abandon the process. The process delivers consis