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proactive selling

Proactive Selling

Here I will try to describe the difference between Reactive selling and Proactive selling and illustrate the benefits of proactive selling.


Are you getting too many no’s from your prospects? If so try asking questions that can’t be answered with a no – proactive selling is asking questions that can only be answered with specific response or a yes.


Reactive Selling


Most of the time, we assume a reactive position with our customers. We “pitch” a statement or benefit over to them and wait for the customer to reply to the statement. Then we react to their response. Reactive statements include:


  • “Is there anything we can help you out with today?” pitch…wait… The answer usually is “No, not today. Thank you.” Our reaction is “OK, if something comes up let me know…”
  • “Last week I sent you our introduction card and I’m calling to see if you’ve received it.” pitch…wait… The reply usually is “Oh I did receive but I don’t need anything…” or “I can’t remember.” Our reaction is, “Well, if something comes up…”


In the best case scenario, most reactive sales calls end with the salesman not the customer doing something. Reactive sales calls result in the salesman sending more information or arranging another phone call.


With reactive sales calls the salesman relinquishes control of the conversation and lessens the chance of making something happen.


Proactive Selling


Start the conversation with an open ended but precise question:

  • “How familiar are you with our ………. service?”
  • “How familiar are you with our ………. product?
  • “Are you aware of our ………. that we stock?”


These questions should be directed to the customer’s specific needs and by using this technique you retain control over the conversation. This method is also very useful for cold calling as well.


Also try to begin each call with a confirmation question:


  • Confirm that you are speaking to the decision maker. “Are you the person who makes the decision to buy/sell”
  • Ask if this is a good time to talk
  • If the customer has done previous business with you , thank them for their business


Proactive selling may not work all the time and may not work for everyone but if you are getting too many no’s it is worth spending time perfecting it.




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