When you’re pursuing an opportunity and you earn that coveted time with a decision maker, you have to be ready to uncover their needs and articulate your value. Often times, you only get one chance to get it right.
Ensure you hit the right target in your next sales conversation. Here are five ways to make sure you maximize your prospect’s time and guarantee a follow-up conversation.
1. Purpose, Process, Payoff
Ensure the right people take part in the conversation by reiterating the 3Ps in your communication leading up to the meeting.
The Purpose – the goal of the meeting
The Process – define how the time will be spent
The Payoff – the relevant and tangible benefits that will pique the prospect’s interest
Articulating the three "Ps" demonstrates your business acumen. It lets your prospect know you won’t be wasting his/her time.
2. Define the Outcomes
Start off on the right foot by asking everyone involved in the conversation, “What would be a good outcome for you from this meeting?” We do this frequently at Force Management, even in our own internal meetings.
In your sales conversations, it helps you maximize everyone’s time, while aligning the conversation with the goals of the prospect. It also creates a benchmark to measure the success of the meeting. Did you meet expectations? If not, you can troubleshoot in your follow-up.
3. Send an Agenda
Even our most seasoned sellers at Force Management prep their prospects by outlining the meeting’s agenda ahead of time. They reiterate the goals of the meetings and ask for agreement. Sending an advanced agenda accomplishes two things:
It ensures everyone is aligned on what and how the goals of the meeting will be accomplished in the given time.
It provides you as the salesperson the opportunity to troubleshoot if the agenda isn’t what the prospect is thinking.
Surprises can derail a meeting quickly. Sending an agenda mitigates the risk of not being on target with your conversation and therefore, upsetting your prospect.
4. Be Audible-Ready
Even with great preparation, you can’t underestimate the importance of being audible-ready.
When you call a meeting, make sure you’re prepared to ask the right questions, listen for customer problems, and guide the conversation in a way that demonstrates your ability to solve them. You never know who is going to be in the room, or the insight they’re going to share.
Your prep work sets you up for success. Your ability to pivot when your prospect shifts the conversation will ensure it.
Your follow-up guarantees you close you loop with your prospect.
It gives you the opportunity to reiterate your solution’s value and differentiation. It also gives you a second chance to respond to any concerns or questions that you didn’t execute well the first time around.
During the call, make a list of the key components that will need follow-up after the call. Go over them as part of your next steps discussion.
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