Yesterday I was in a meeting where we were talking about prospecting and sales. One of the men shared a story about how he called a prospect to let them know he wouldn’t be calling again as they appeared to be very busy and he’d surmised the timing was bad. They responded to this message and he was able to get a face to face meeting with them.
Another attendee mentioned that this pointed to the idea that each party needs to respect the other. In my mind, the whole process begins with respecting yourself. When you respect yourself and truly see value in what you do, you then understand that the right prospects are the ones who are going to respond to your leadership.
The salesperson should always maintain control of the process. You are the expert; you know what works best for your company and your clients. The prospect looks to you to provide them with that structure and guidance.
Later in the day I met with a woman who shared her policy when she sits down with a new prospect. She first says what she will do for them. Then she tells them what she will need from them and that it may end up that they are not a fit for each other. She lays it all on the table at the beginning; she sets the expectation. I just loved this! She totally understands that not every prospect will be a good client. She knows her process and what works best. And she knows that she has to drive the process, not the prospective client.
Unfortunately, many salespeople do not operate this way. They have the belief that they have to follow the prospect’s lead; let the prospect control the process. Because of this they spend a lot of time trying to get ahold of people. They get stuck in the process and have a hard time moving the prospect through to a decision. How frustrating!
When you begin from a position of respect for yourself you are confident that you know what works best. You also understand that not every prospect will turn into a good client. Lastly, you know that you must control the process in order to get to the place where you either gain a sale or move on to someone else.
Take control. Suggest a meeting time; ask how they’d like you to follow up. Here you are assuming that they want to move forward and are making the point that you expect a next meeting. Control the sales meeting by asking questions before you share information. Seriously. You can’t effectively tell someone about what you offer until you know what they need. It also gives you the opportunity to identify whether this is someone you even want to do business with.
Try it out; even if you aren’t totally comfortable with the idea. You’ll see how different it feels and how different the results can be. Remember, the goal is to do business with those people/companies who respect and appreciate you and what you do. It all starts with you respecting yourself and what you do.
Copyright© 2014 Seize This Day Coaching