Take control of the Sales Meeting
Tip #1: Take control of your meeting times
• Key Terminology: A “meeting time” is the time you have committed to meet with a prospect.
• What You Do: When you first make an appointment, agree to whatever time is convenient for the prospect. Then, once the appointment is in the prospect’s calendar, request that the appointment be moved to match what’s convenient for you.
• Why This Works: Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, a prospect will not mind changing the appointment date around, once the prospect has already decided to meet with you.
• How This Saves Time: It allows you to better schedule your travel time, preparation time, and meeting time, so that you spend less time on each prospect, but with the same positive impact.
• Warning: If you keep your calendar (and prospect list) SOLELY on your computer or smartphone, you’re eventually going to get burned.
Those devices are wonderful, but they:
1) run out of battery power,
2) crash unexpectedly,
3) get stolen,
4) get broken,
5) lose files,
6) won’t connect to the network,
7) require complicated commands,
and 8) strain your eyeballs. If you’ve got your sales activities recorded on paper, the only excuse you’ve got for not contacting a prospect is if your dog eats the piece of paper, which rarely happens.
Tip #2: Stop repeating yourself
• Key Terminology: “Repeating yourself” is when you attempt to make the same point more than once, in the belief that it didn’t “stick” the first time you said it. Again and again. As in more than once. Repeating yourself. Get it?
• What You Do: Create an agenda for your meeting and for any presentation that you might give. State your main points once, forcefully and with confidence.
• Why This Works: Many sales pros are secretly afraid prospects won’t believe what they’re saying, so they start repeating themselves, hoping it will add credibility. However, repetition actually detracts from credibility because it makes you seem uncertain.
• How This Saves Time: When you show a lack of confidence in yourself, the prospect begins to suspect that you can’t be trusted to deliver or (worse) that you’re hiding something. As result, you end up spending extra time re-establishing your lost credibility.
• Warning: There’s a myth floating around in “how to present” programs that you should repeat your messages 3 times. Wrong, wrong, wrong. The rule is: “Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.” The first is a pre-positioning of the message (so that they know it’s important), the second is the message itself, and the third is the call to action based on the message.
Tip #3: Don’t Anticipate Objections
Key Terminology: An “objection” is a temporary mental barrier that the prospects have put in the way of buying.
• What You Do: Become familiar with the objections that you usually encounter in your sales cycle. Never surface those objections explicitly (e.g. “I suppose you’re wondering why this costs more than the competition.”). Instead, build the answers to those objections into the presentation without identifying them explicitly. (e.g. “Our customers show an ROI in three months — the fastest ROI in our product category.)
• Why This Works: Most objections are variations of “it costs too much”, so building a strong financial case into your sales message defuses most objections anyway. And while prospects almost always have objections, the last thing you want is to provide them with a laundry list, even if you’re pretty sure that you’ve got the answers to everything on that list.
• How This Saves Time: While some objections are inevitable, you could easily surface an objection that hadn’t yet occurred to the prospect. Then you must spend time answering that objection, when you should have left well enough alone.
• Warning: If a prospect doesn’t surface at least one objection, there’s a good chance that the prospect is leading you on. An objection is usually a sign that the prospect is considering a purchase.
- Prosell offers a program that combines sales training and sales coaching. It is based on recognised research, which tells us that training alone has limited impact and that when supported by skilful coaching, has 74% more chance of being implemented.
- Prosell has resources to deliver these programs across Australia, covering Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra.