Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Is This Your First Sales Rodeo?

You finally have a meeting set up with the principles of a company you’ve been trying to get in front of for a long time. This isn’t your first rodeo, so you’ve prepared well. You’ve done your homework and have every expectation of a flawless presentation that goes off without a hitch.

It all sounds so easy except for the fact that when you’re potential clients or customers walk into your meeting, they’ll be working off their agenda—not yours. Because you’ve done your homework, you’ll be prepared to answer most of their questions and concerns, but don’t be surprised if they identify issues and ask questions that will make another meeting necessary. They might provide you with a new piece of information that makes the numbers you slaved over impossible to rework on the spot. Or, you might find out that there aren’t any decision makers sitting in on this meeting.

However the situation arises, it’s the way you handle the need for a follow-up meeting that can make the difference between the deal continuing to move forward, or dropping dead right at your feet. The rooky mistake is a response something like this, “Okay… I understated you need this information before we can move forward, but I don’t have it right now. I’ll work on it, and give you a call sometime next week so we can set up another meeting.”

Sometime next week?! Really?

It’s normal to be uncomfortable—maybe even annoyed—when a meeting doesn’t go as smoothly as you had hoped and planned for, but what’s your potential client supposed do between now and when you decide you’re over it and ready to talk with them again? Sit by the phone with bated breath waiting for you to call? It doesn’t matter why you need a follow-up meeting. If it’s due to something you did or didn’t do, take responsibility for it. If it’s the result of something the client did or didn’t do, be mindful and respectful of the fact that everybody is under a lot of business pressure these days.

Step up and take the initiative to schedule the date and time for another meeting before you leave this meeting. If you don’t, you’re counting on a lot of things not to happen between now and then—things like your competition reaching out to your potential client and securing a meeting while you’re still trying to decide if you’re ready to make the call.

Alan luoma is a Sales Coach and Speaker with extensive experience in industrial sales, sales management, marketing and product training. He holds key accounts with a national sustainable packaging company, is an expert that speaks and provides sales coaching to individuals and groups. He is a member of the Hartford Springfield Speakers Network and The National Speakers Association. You can view his profile on  LinkedInor contact him at luoma@snet.net

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