We are often asked what the most important part of the sales process is. Our response is the first meaningful appointment face to face in a “B” to “B” situation.
If you can connect enough with a prospective client to get a first face to face meeting the sales process is actually in full bloom.
Often in the first meeting the prospect may be holding their cards very close to their vest and certainly don’t want to imply any real urgent need or concern. Even though the client may be less than enthusiastic at the first meeting the mere fact that they are meeting with you is clearly delivering buying signals.
Very few decision makers or even underlings given the responsibility to talk with a potential new vendor will give you the time of day unless there is some need. Virtually nobody has the task to talk to vendors for no reason!
Thus, during the first meeting you need to give the potential customer a compelling reason to talk with you in more depth. Come to the initial meeting prepared to give enough value and as much as possible “real” dollarized savings to generate a subsequent meeting.
The process of uncovering more details about what the customer wants is often revealed only after the customers believes there is some potential that you can solve a problem, add value, or provide savings.
Once a sales professional is over this hurdle they have earned the right to ask the many questions necessary to explore if a business relationship if in the offing.
Copyright © 2014 Dave Neal
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