Prospect Sales Meeting – Wake Up!
Your prospective buyer is NOT here to entertain and educate you during a sales meeting.
You might wish they were, but they’re just not.
Surprisingly, some sales people haven’t cottoned on to this yet.
That has some disastrous results, like:
- Prospects runs the sales meeting!
- Your agenda gets hijacked by the prospect!
- The prospect ends up no wiser than when the sales meeting started!
It’s easy for the prospect to think he doesn’t need your product, your service or (and this is the killer) your expertise
You know what that means?
You’ve just lost the sale….(and the prospect thinks you’re a drip, but nothing I can do about that).
So, if you’re running your prospect sales meetings on auto-pilot, here’s your wake up call…
How to Rock the Sales Meeting…
The prospect needs to enjoy the sales process
And that starts with him enjoying the sales meeting.
Silly as it may see, it’s very true.
Boring meeting – chances of a sales just dipped…a lot.
Keep the prospect engaged, that means making your presentation interesting.
Research done a few years ago said that story telling was the key to this. I panicked like crazy because too many sales people take that statement at face value and wonder why their sales pipeline collapses.
It’s Story Telling…but not as we know it.
You’re stories have to be; short, client focused, results/outcomes orientated, relevant, appropriate and in case you missed it the first time – SHORT.
Those stories should also educate the client…and not just simply showcase how great you are at bragging.
And another thing, shouldn’t have to say it but I will, make sure they are true…it’s an illustration not a fairy tale.
On the subject of fairy tales, make sure you share the learning experiences (stumbles) as well as the out right successes, authentic sharing is better than pie in the sky vision.
Plus, your prospect will probably want to follow up your stories with the other participants…
This article here talks about how your whole sales pitch should be scripted like a story – take a read – I don’t know if I agree, it’s a bit too prescriptive for me, but you might like it. I’ve used parts of this in training and myself and it works very well. Try it.
As with any story – it’s got to stir the emotions – it’s got to take the listener (or in this case prospect) through a process of a changed emotional state – so a sales person who can influence and persuade during the retelling of a story is sure to be a step ahead of the rest of the pack – take a look here to see how to make it work for you.
And if you really love the idea of being able to influence and persuade – check out Robert Cialdini
Blast the Boundaries
Other people might say push the boundaries, but that’s if you want to play it safe. Do you?
I love sales meetings, truly loved them, especially with energetic and ambition business owners and sales leaders…just love it.
Why? They have vision and they can play around with ideas, their minds are open, their thinking fluid and they love the challenge of wondering what if…nothing’s off limits to these guys and I just adore that.
Some prospective clients are more reserved.
So pushing boundaries may not be form them. Or maybe it just means baby steps…
It’s ok to push and challenge the prospects thinking, test out his commitment to his existing ideas, invite him to look at things in another way, show him some alternative perspectives, play the ‘what if’ game.
Of course, you still might come back to a nudge past where he was before, but you’re been a person of value, you’ve stretched his mind, you’ve challenged his believes and you’ve given him food for though…all of which will have made sure he valued your input. As a result the prospect may feel even more committed to his original, possibly revised, solution, either way they’ll have a more rounded view…
Be the Smart Cookie
If you’re not the brightest person in the room…go home and work until you are!
You have to (you must!!) know more than the buyer about what you offer and how it works in his industry and his sector.
That’s just a fundamental must.
It’s also why sector or vertical sales works better than geographical selling.
If you’re selling in a vertical you’ll get to know the industry, the key players, the sector challenges, the competitors and the alternative solutions inside out and back to front…in which case you’re value to the prospect has just sky-rocketed.
You’ll be, or should be, an expert in your solutions in your buyers sector. Kerrrrching!
Ask the Questioning Questions
By this I mean proper questions…
Lots of sales people ask the questions they ask because it leads them to where they want to be in their sales pitch.
You know the prospect knows what you’re doing, right?
That’s why most sales pitches are boring, unimaginative and unproductive.
It’s ok to go off piste with your questions, chase the rabbit if the prospect comes up with something left of field, ask them to explain, feel free to explore how their mind works, give them a chance to vocalise their thinking…you’ll be helping them and you’ll be helping yourself.
In truth, it’s in sessions like these that you’ll uncover the real decision making process, you’ll gain insight into how the prospect thinks and what his key concerns are as well as helping you understand how he buys, why he buys, and why he should buy from you…what more reason do you need for exploring and deviating from your pre-prepped sales pitch…?
Who knows what you might find out…(that none of your competitors will ever get to know)
Make sure you enjoy it too…sales is hard enough, without doing business with people who son’t respect or understand the value you bring to the table.
If you’re looking for insight into how to get more out of your prospect sales meeting – pop along here and check out this
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