The ‘Sales Board’

This blog is for everyone who might have heard me mention my ‘sales board’ but haven’t yet got around to coming to one of my training sessions and finding out exactly what they’re all about. The Sales Board is a prop to help business owners implement a ‘sales process’ when they’re selling their product or service. It’s a ‘dry-wipe’ white board, ideally displayed prominently on your office wall, where you can’t help but see it, with all of your potential customers, (as l call them, ‘Prospects’), listed in a column on the left-hand side. Here is an illustration:

Insert 4 - Sales Board photo

You use the board to log the date when you first made contact, whether it was by phone, e-mail or face-to-face, then to tick off when you have sent them a proposal/quotation, when you follow up the quotation or proposal to see what the Prospect has decided to do, if they can’t give you a deision right away, and then when you next follow up if they still need longer to decide, (it is down to your own discretion how many times you choose to follow up before you decide to leave the Prospect alone, if they persistently fail to give you a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’).

These are the benefits of the Sales Board:

1)      You have the date that you will next contact your Prospect up on the wall right in front of you, staring you in the face, so you won’t forget to do it.

2)      Because you agree with your Prospect the date that you will contact them next, you are saved from feeling that you are hassling them, or that you might be catching them at a bad time.

3)      Always calling your Prospect when you said that you would reinforces your credibility, as it shows your Prospect that you do what you say that you will.

More details about how to work your Sales Process are coming in future blogs – watch this space. If your business is a shop you might be thinking that the ‘Sales Board’ isn’t applicable to your sales process, so I’ll be addressing retail separately in my next blog. If you want more help with setting up a Sales Process in the meantime, or if you have any questions, call Doug on 07946 730475.

What do most businesses get wrong when they’re selling?

For the benefit of those who haven’t yet managed to make it to one of our sales training sessions yet, I’m putting a little series of blogs together about how to work your ‘sales process’. We’ll start with having a look at what I find people commonly get wrong when they’re selling.

Imagine that someone makes contact with you, by phone or e-mail, because they’ve been to your website or they’ve seen an advert that you’ve published, and they’re interested in using your services. What do you do? Do you tell them all about the services you can provide, and how good they are, and, once you’ve made it clear how excellent your product or service is, start to tell them about what it will cost? In many ways this seems like the logical thing to do, but, in fact, it’s not the best way to make sales.

There are two significant problems here. You haven’t given yourself the opportunity to find out why the prospective customer needs you – presumably they have a problem or a need which your product or service can resolve and fulfil for them. If you can find out all about what it is that this customer really needs, rather than relying on the limited information that they have offered at the start of the conversation, you might find that you were about to offer them something that wouldn’t have been as good as something else that you sell, or you might find that they actually need to buy more from you than you realised at the beginning. This knowledge is important in order to properly satisfy your customer and to capitalise fully on your sale.

The other problem is to do with the psychology of value for money: you haven’t given your customer the opportunity to compare the cost of what you’re offering them to what it costs them to do without it, financially and emotionally. They probably don’t have much of a frame of reference, and, when you quote a price, they are likely to compare it in their heads the cost of what you’re selling to whatever they last purchased, which might have been a cup of coffee from the vending machine. In all likelihood, the cost comparison won’t flatter you. You need to be able to make them see the true value of your product or service, which you will only be able to do once you’ve taken the time to talk to them about the real cost of the problem or requirement that they have come to you for help with.

 In the next blog we will describe how to put a ‘Sales Process’ in place to help you avoid the pitfalls that we have discussed here. If you can’t wait, or if you have questions in the meantime, call Doug on 07946 730475 or e-mail You can also check out our advice sheet on Sales on our website.