Is it possible to write your orders in advance? What if you show up on your customer's doorstep with the order all made out and all you need is their signature? I would say it would be possible if the order was already placed, or they had called in and wanted you to stop by and pick up the actual order confirmation.
But what if it was a mistake? What if you made the call and expected to get the order, only to find out that they never called in? What if it was a set up?
I once conducted a test at a distributor to see if the sales person could get a better response when they believed they were going to make a sale verses calling on a customer without this belief.
On Monday the sales manager and I carefully selected 10 prospects, each in a different sales area that was not currently buying. In each account we obtained the name of the person who was responsible for doing the purchasing. Tuesday this information was passed along to the sales person in that area saying that the prospects had called in and wanted to talk to someone about placing an order.
This changed the dynamics of the entire call. Was there any hesitation about making the call? None. Was there any doubt about whether they might or might not want to see you? None. Was there a lot of time spent worrying about what to talk about. No. It was as simple as going to the store and buying a loaf of bread.
At the Friday sales meeting we confessed. After the dust settled, the results were discussed with each sales person. Seven out of the ten reported a positive response. They each admitted the call was made with a totally different frame of mind. There was no hesitation before the actual confusion started and obvious misunderstanding.
The lesson learned from this exercise was simple. If you know what you want, take action and expect to get it your results will be much better. And just how do you accomplish that? Make a plan for each call, know what you want and expect to get it.