Prepare Your Seniors

    November 3, 2005

A painfully uncomfortable sales scenario is the team call with a senior that does not go well. Whether the senior has been blindsided or the salesperson just wasn’t prepared, a bad call with a senior not only hurts the client relationship, but also internal credibility.

Before you make your next call with a senior (or a colleague), take steps to make sure the call is a win for everybody involved.

Pre Call

  • Begin with Expectations – and start with your client. Ask your client what specific issues he/she would like the senior to address. This is especially important if the client suggests the meeting, but it is equally important if you have initiated the senior visit. Not only ask the question, “What kinds of things maybe you want Bill to address?”, but drill down and take notes so you can be very specific when you brief your senior.
  • Develop a concise (1 page) e-mail for the senior that includes:
  •      – Background – keep it very brief.

             – Who is client, business data, length of relationship, any high points or bumps on the road, role of the client, personal insights

        – Issues/topics of priority interest to the client

        – Current business with the client

        – Future business (sold, not begun)

        – Any issues or problems that are outstanding

        – Client objectives

        – Opportunities to expand relationships you want the senior to promote

  • Thanks to the Senior
  • The e-mail does not take the place of a brief dialogue. Set a time to speak with the senior to clarify roles, his/her objective, set your call strategy – who will do what (Ideally you will lead open, position senior close) and logistics. Find out what else he/she needs. Remember clients don’t want hello calls – they want to know the senior is fully briefed on the relationship and ready to add value.
  • Post Call

  • Set a time to debrief the call with the senior and ask for feedback.
  • Call your client to reinforce how happy your senior was to meet him/her. Use the call to get feedback on the meeting, promote your agenda, etc.
  • Ask your senior to also leave a voice mail for the client, thank the client for the meeting, and summarize his/her key points to highlight with the client in a 40 second voice mail.
  • Keep your senior posted through e-mail, voice mails.
  • Be judicious in how you use senior resources. When you make seniors look good, you will look great in your client’s eyes and the senior’s and by preparing seniors fully, you will get a disproportionate amount of their time!

    Linda Richardson: President and CEO of Richardson, training consultants to corporations, banks, and investment banks globally. Richardson has 110 professionals, 15 regional offices in the United States, and presence in London, Australia, Singapore, Latin America, and Asia. Clients of Richardson include KPMG, Federal Express, General Mills, Tiffany & Co., Dell Computer, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Citibank, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, and Kinko’s. Visit

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