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.