Problem: Ever go on a sales call where there seemed to be little structure, where both parties seemed to be on different pages, where expectations were not met, and little was accomplished? Even worse, you expected something positive to occur but simply got a luke-warm response such as, “I need to think it over. Call me in a few days.” Opportunities are squandered and the buyer seems to be in control.
Analysis: All too often sales calls are unstructured; objectives are not determined or communicated. Winging it seems to be the primary strategy employed by the salesperson. Assumptions are made that the buyer knows why you’re there and no clarification of purpose is needed.
Solution: The key to successfully implementing the common sense selling approach and taking the lead in the selling interview is to agree early in the meeting as to exactly what the agenda will be. You must determine with your prospect the amount of time available for the meeting, what the prospect would like to accomplish for it to be a successful meeting, obtain permission to ask questions to get a better understanding of the prospect’s needs, and agree that at the end of the meeting, at the very least, you’ll make a decision as to whether or not to continue talking.
If you have a very clear meeting agreement, you’ll build tremendous rapport with the prospect, improve communication significantly because both parties have the opportunity to ask questions, eliminate premature presentations, get decisions and eliminate “think it overs” and, most importantly, take leadership of the selling interview. In addition, our clients tell us that prospects visibly begin to relax when they hear that the seller is comfortable with hearing “no.” The meeting agreement is one of the most effective selling tools you’ll ever own…master it and you’re well on your way to becoming a true sales superstar.