Sales is the lifeblood of any business. Mark Keating, sales expert and CEO of SalesGuru, shares the strategies that successful entrepreneurs and sales people alike are already implementing into their business.
In an interview with Melissa Javan from SME South Africa, Keating lays out how to prepare for a profitable sales meeting.
Before the meeting:
- Do your research on who you will be meeting. LinkedIn and Google are good resources.
- Research the company. Check Google, find out the latest news on the company and go through their website for more information. Find out who their current supplier is.
13 Steps to the perfect meeting:
- Give a clear and professional introduction that sets the objective from both parties – this creates an open discussion and removes sales pressure.
- Have an agreement to share feedback at the end of the meeting and if there is value or not.
- Have an understanding of their current situation.
- There should be a clear understanding of their potential needs, objectives, outcomes and areas that are important to them.
- Offer value – clarify what the additional value is that you can provide for them through your offering.
- Do a recap – this allows you to recap your understanding of the above and clarify that the buyer is in agreement.
- Find out if their budget has been allocated and if not, discuss your price against the value you will bring (as above point).
- Find out about the urgency – provided they are in agreement of their need, what is their sense of urgency to achieve this.
- Know their decision-making process – who else is involved, the top 3 things they consider when making a decision around what you are discussing and the time line to get to a final decision.
- Present – you now have the required information with which to present back to them according to their input.
- Clarify each above of the points and determine if they are in agreement (mini closes).
- Close – ASK! There are several ways to do this. Some of the best ways are the soft rest and the never manipulative approach. For example, use statements like “Makes sense to me, what do you think?”, “Can I ask, would you like my help?”
- Determine the next steps – too often, salespeople leave without a clear agreement of the next steps that are date stamped.
Keating’s sales meeting do’s and don’ts
- Arrive 10 minutes prior to the meeting, it’s professional.
- Be friendly and share an introduction for the call’s objective.
- Have questions to uncover key areas to determine if you can help them.
- Ask smart questions and listen carefully for their insights.
- Under-dress; you are the image of your company and offering. Remember to look the part relative to your industry and company.
- Waffle and waste too much time, most buyers are busy and want to understand quickly if you are bring value to them.
- Go straight into a sales pitch all about you, your company and why you think you are great.
- Talk too much.
- Underrate what they are saying. Clarify this by repeating key understandings back and checking if this is correct.
- Rush to close and present a solution. You can only offer a solution if there is a clear problem that needs to be addressed.
- Leave the sales call without getting feedback and the clear next steps, even if the next step is that there is no interest.