Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Five Tips to a Great First Meeting With a Potential Customer

Studies reveal that only 2% of sales occur when two parties meet for the first time.
You only get one chance to make a good first impression. It takes a lot of hard work to book a sales meeting. If you don't make good use of it, you've just wasted resources and most importantly - TIME. Experts believe that if you make yourself distinct by doing an amazing job at the first sales meeting, you have a better chance of closing the deal in one of the subsequent meetings.
Here are five ways to be distinct from other sales people:
1. Be the Expert
  • To be credible, you must be an expert in your field.
  • Do not overwhelm your potential customer with jargon and technical terms
  • Demonstrate your skill as an expert by being able to relate your client's situation
  • How their "itch" might be solved through your solution in ways they can understand.
  • Create a mutual understanding of the problems your customers are facing and that you might be able to help them.
  • Again, do not cloud their understanding by using meaningless technical terms
2. Do your research
  • Before your first sales meeting, do a few web searches so you can learn about your potential customer.
  • Learn as much as you can about their organization
  • Research news on the web that relates to their market
  • Being able to get a good sense of your potential customer's background will help you come up with interesting perspectives you can share with them.
3. Be Curious
  • One of the most critical sales skill is Curiosity.
  • When are curious about people, business and situations, you can't help but ask a lot of questions
  • Potential customers love being asked a lot of questions. This is because:
    • They will do most of the talking and people enjoy talking about themselves.
    • They will feel great about the sales meeting
    • If you listen with intent and have 101% presence in the meeting, your customer will feel listened to and appreciated - customers love that!
    • You will understand your customer's outlook that will become critical information to help you solve their "itch" in the best way possible.
4. Ask all the right questions - Before and During the Meeting
  • Ask yourself these questions before your first sales meeting:
    • Why is this client taking the time to meet you?
    • What are your client's strategic goals, opportunities and threats?
    • How will you show your customer what you do rather than talking about how great you are?
    • How will you differentiate your organization from the competition?
What are possible objections your customer could have? How will you handle them?
  • Structure your questions to be high level to ensure the customer know the answer to them.
  • Your first question should take you in the right direction.
  • Here are some examples of questions that can help you accomplish bullet points 2 and 3:
    • What are the top three things you want to achieve right now?
    • Why are these three things important to you and what changes would you like take place?
    • How are you making those changes possible to achieve?
    • As you work towards those changes, what is working and what is not working?
5. Is there value in moving forward?
  • Ask if they see value in continuing the discussion - 2nd meeting to close the deal
  • Be sure to be polite and not pressure your potential customer
The first sales meeting is not over until you follow up. These are usually an email with the following components:
1. Summary of the customer's goals and requirements
2. Description of your solution and its strengths and benefits
3. Next steps - as agreed at the end of the first meeting.
Take these five steps and apply it the next time your book a potential customer for your first sales meeting with them.