sales person wants to shorten his or her sales cycle. Any good sales training
system will tell you not to just send literature (or they should). Here’s how to set the expectations for a
strongest and best sales superstars close a new prospect in one visit. Why not?
Any time you have to make a second, third or fourth meeting it costs you
and your prospects money. You lose by
wasting time. They lose because you
delay their advertising results and you waste their time.
in one call? How? It’s simple, but not
key is in properly setting expectations. Steven Covey writes in Seven Habits
of Highly Effective People to “Begin with the End in Mind.” Apply this principle in sales by negotiating
the outcome in advance of your sales calls.
setting the appointment on your prospecting call, here’s an example of proper
expectation setting. You must pre-qualify your call.
before we agree to meet, can we discuss expectations for our meeting?
May I tell you
how I work, and you can tell me if you’re comfortable? Our’s is a two step process. This phone call is step 1. Step 2 is our meeting. Typically this meeting lasts about an hour. I’d like to begin our meeting by asking you
enough questions to understand your business.
Then I’d like you assemble the right people in the room to ask me enough
questions so that at the end of the meeting, we will have enough information to
either decide it just isn’t a fit and say “no” or make a decision on what out
next step looks like. Fair? ‘No’ means
you decided you don’t need or want what I have, or you cannot find the budget,
or just cannot decide right now. I’m
okay with a No. I’m also okay with a ‘Yes’.
‘Yes’ means you want our help and you’re ready to make a commitment to
solve these business challenges you described.
comfortable with that? (If no,
negotiate issues up front. Don’t wait
until the end of the meeting to decide next steps.
The secret to closing in one call is to let
your prospect know how things will end
before you start.)
Good. I appreciate you being open, honest and up
front with me. Let’s avoid one thing at
the end of the meeting. That’s telling
me you’re not sure, or that you want to think about it. If you have any doubts, I’ll take any thing
other than a Yes as a No, OK?
approach allows you to avoid the biggest sales nightmare: Indecision.
By allowing your prospect the option of saying no, you take the pressure
off them. As a result, they’ll be more
comfortable. Plus, they’ll pay
attention. (Wouldn’t you if you knew you
had to make a decision?)
1. Start with the
end in mind. Negotiate the outcome for a
decision (No or Yes) when you set the appointment.
2. Decision makers
are decisive. Meet them, not
subordinates. Don’t waste time taking
No’s from people who cannot say Yes.
Establish time contracts. Sales stars set time agreements for 2 to 4
hours for the meeting. By telling people
up front what’s going to happen on your sales call, they’ll appreciate knowing
and will pay attention.
4. Give your
prospects permission to say No, instead of pushing for Yes’s. It makes people comfortable, and
differentiates you from pushy salespeople.
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