How To Master A Joint Sales Call!

by Paul Castain on September 7, 2010

Did you ever see those clichéd scenes in the movies where they show a flashback and the dude having the flashback is doing this elongated “NO”  as the whole freakin world goes to crap around them?

That’s how I felt when my Sales Manager would go on joint sales calls with me!

Between the constant judging and his need to talk over me in these meetings, I wanted to secretly train his 3 year old to “Punch Daddy in the zipper”

While my wish never came true, I did get a chance to really perfect the joint sales calls I went on with reps as I moved up the corporate food chain.

Here are a few thoughts to consider:

1)   Define everyone’s role. Who’s taking the lead? Who’s presenting and when?  Sales Reps: If this is in fact your appointment, you need to take charge of this and let everyone know their role. Sales Manager’s: Whenever I ride with a rep, I tell them that there are basically 3 types of sales calls. One where they run it, I observe and offer feedback afterwards. One where I run the meeting to demonstrate a particular skill (handle a difficult client etc) and one where we both go in there guns a blazing. I then ask which one they prefer. Its their appointment so stop taking the damn keys!

2)   If people are coming in from out of town for the meeting: I have a non negotiable rule “Don’t even think about heading to the meeting right from the airport” I want them in the night before. I don’t need late flights, people rushing from airports, wrinkled suits and plane stank (I never experienced it but I was on a roll and went with it) screwing up my game. I’m dead serious about this rule and have even told it to CEO’s. My account, my rules!

3)   I don’t like “Us vs Them” seating arrangements. No barriers! To that end, I like to have us all spread out around the table. One reason for this is because I want eye contact with my team.

4)   Have a code word or phrase like a cough where you quickly say “shut the hell up” if you need to interject something. Seriously, I have such a cool code I use with my team. If they need my assistance they simply say “Paul, is there anything you’d like to add?” If I want to add something I blatantly look at my teammate (while they are talking) and display a very natural display of body language communicating that I have something to add. My favorite is to casually nod my head and hold my finger up as if to say “When you are done dude, I want to add something” Aside from the occasional person who thinks that’s my way of saying I need to use the bathroom it works well and keeps people from talking over one another. :)

There’s obviously a bit more to all of this . . .  What are your thoughts about joint sales calls and how we can execute flawlessly?

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