Browse Tag

sales meeting

When and How to Use Your Sales Collateral Material

Problem:  Early on in my career, I was the king of sales sheets. That was the term we used for all our marketing material.  I made sure before I left for the day my briefcase was loaded with all the latest material. I wanted to be armed for anything a prospect would throw at me. We had a file cabinet in the back of the sales room where all the collateral sales material was stored; each with its own labeled slot.  One day I was excited because I had a full day of sales calls with prospects I’ve been working to get in front of. Excited, until I went to our marketing cabinet and found the slots empty! Checking in with the sales secretary, she informed me that the copier was broke and she would not be able to print more until later that day. Now panic set in. I had my presentation all set around these materials and now I was armed with nothing! read more

Beware of What you Send Before Your Meeting

SQC smallProblem: Dennis was the VP of Sales for a medium sized application service provider and was concerned about the high number of appointment cancellations his reps were getting. As an example, he related something that had happened about ten days before. Apparently Richard, one of his reps, had made an appointment with a prospect that looked like they’d be a good fit for the company. A day after the appointment had been made; the prospect called back and asked that the rep send “some information” about the company prior to the meeting. Richard felt that this was a good sign of interest and complied, sending a fairly extensive package of information. It contained spec sheets on some of the products, a partial client list, company history, several recent news releases, etc. Then two days before the appointment was scheduled, the prospect called and canceled, saying that they had looked over the material that was sent, and they felt that a meeting would not be necessary. This, explained Dennis, happened too often. read more

Eliminate Mutual Confusion

SQC smallProblem:  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. read more

Begin With the End in Mind

SQC smallProblem: The biggest challenge salespeople face is closing more business.  Typically, the problem is not the lack of closing skills per se, but rather the job they’ve done prior to the presentation and close.  Would anyone disagree that the better the prospect is qualified, the easier the close will be? read more

All-Pro or Product Peddler?

SQC smallProblem: Picture your last very important sales interview with Mr. Big — the one that potentially represented three months quota. You know the one we mean. Going into the meeting, on a scale of 1 to 10, where would you rate yourself on the following scale? 1 means your briefcase is full of literature to show him, and 10 means that you have planned the call well and have rehearsed the questions you will ask to help you understand the problem in a way that fits with Mr. Big’s behavioral style and frame of reference. If you scored less than an eight, your chances of a successful meeting are less than 50%. read more

Early Warning Signs

SQC smallProblem: “What am I doing here?” Robert said to himself. He was twenty minutes into the initial meeting with this prospect, and he was clearly fighting an uphill battle. All his attempts to develop rapport were met with apathetic, almost frigid responses. His questions, simple and innocuous though they were, received little more than one or two word responses. “What’s going on here?” he wondered. This guy won’t even crack a smile and yet he gave me the appointment. Is he just having a bad day, or do I have a hygiene problem? He just couldn’t figure it out, yet he kept at it, trying to pump some life into this dying appointment. He wanted to quit, but his ego wouldn’t let him; he felt he should be able to breathe some life into this situation. read more

Show Me the Money

SQC smallProblem: Why is money so difficult to discuss? Salespeople frequently hear from prospects that budget is “no problem” at the beginning of the sales call.  However, once things start to get close, the story often changes.  We’re told that we “have to sharpen our pencil,” “get more competitive,” or offer “additional discounts.”  Yet, once the sale is won, price seems to evaporate as an issue and pressure is put on the vendor to improve quality or service.  Often we hear from salespeople that money is the number one issue in getting and keeping the business.  “We need to have more competitive pricing, better discount structures or we just can’t compete.”  Sound familiar? read more