Two Faces of Authority – Part 3 of 3

Read Part 1 and Part 2

The questions that can bring the success of a sales call into clear focus are: “Who has more doubt about the situation, you or the suspect?” and “Who has more interest in the next meeting, you or them?”  D.U.I. (an acronym for creating Doubt, Urgency and Interest) is alive and well – it is simply misdirected.

By asking these questions, your point has been made.  The reality is that the point was made not by you, but by their simple responses to a few well-phrased and pointed questions.  The next question to them should be, “What action should you take now?”

If used effectively, this process will serve to clean up the pipeline and bring reality into sharp focus for you and the salesperson.  It will also do something far beyond the tactical pipeline cleansing.  It will begin to enhance the process of gaining credibility authority because you will be seen by your sales force as a valuable resource to their achieving success and not seen as an impediment to a comfortable daily routine.  This transformation or realization may not be instantaneous, nor will it necessarily be lasting.

There will be other challenges to face in your leadership role, and the age-old foe, inertia, will be a factor.  However, utilizing this pipeline discovery process can serve an additional purpose as it can be expanded to other areas of accountability.  Let’s review the process you should follow.

First, ask an open question or make a statement that implies a question.   In this case, it was, “Let’s take a look at your pipeline.”

This was then followed by the question, “How did you decide that this person is a prospect?”  You can also use, “Is this person a prospect?” However, this is often perceived as more confrontational and may force them to stake out a position.

Then, “What defines them as a prospect?”

The call to action then becomes, “What is your action plan?”

This process can go a long way toward moving your positional authority to the enviable status of being a trusted and capable coach. One with credibility authority.

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