Sales Training Article: Icing the Cake with Buyers

By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company

Image courtesy of Serge Bartasius Photography at

A seller has done a thorough diagnosis of a Key Player’s current way of doing business in an initial call. Several areas have been uncovered where capabilities within the seller’s offering appear relevant to addressing them. The allotted 30 minutes is nearly up and the seller summarizes what she heard as she wants to make sure the buyer and she are on the same page. After the summary, she asks if it was accurate and the buyer confirms that it was.

This has been a good call. The next conversation will be a chance to present only the parts of the offering that should be relevant to the buyer. After that, the seller will seek agreement that if the buyer had those capabilities he would be able to achieve the desired business outcome. Many sellers would end the call at this point.

Mary isn’t satisfied with just making good calls and wants to go the extra mile. The diagnostic questions were relevant and facilitated a healthy exchange with the buyer. Rather than pose several yes/no questions, many began with the word: How. However, the fact is that they were her questions.

Rather than end the call, Mary asks one more question: Is there anything else I should know? This is an easy question that doesn’t have any downside. The responses will likely be either:

  • No, this has been a good conversation and I look forward to our next call. In this case the seller has given the buyer the chance to control part of the call and he or she has declined. Many buyers will appreciate this courtesy.
  • Now that you asked.. Of course this is the better response. A seller will know more at the end of a call than they otherwise would have. Many competitors don’t ask this question.

One of Jim Collins’ books has the title: Good To Great. This simple question can allow you to improve the quality of your calls.

Take a look at the sales training workshops available to you.