Sunday, February 3, 2008

Sales Secret #142: Wow Your Prospects With This Little Used Procedure That Makes A Big Difference

Use an agenda on your next sales call and you'll be perceived as a businessperson who sells.There I was, sitting in front of my laptop typing up a document when I got an email from Richard.

About thirty minutes earlier, he had approached me with a fair sized enterprise storage opportunity he was working on. He told me a little of what the prospect wanted, brought up four major points and asked if it was technically doable.

Actually, it was a no brainer.

So I told him yes, that we could do what the client was looking to accomplish.

He also asked what times I would be available for meeting with the client. So I gave him a few time slots of availability and he trotted off to do what ever it was he was doing.

A half an hour after our conversation, the email arrived in my inbox. It was addressed to the prospect and I was carbon copied on it. In the email, Richard essentially thanked the prospect for meeting with him earlier in the week and reviewed some of what they had talked about. It also mentioned me as the technical member of his team.

Richard then outlined four key points that he wanted to cover in the next meeting, the same four points that he had asked me about earlier, and asked if either of the time slots worked better for their team. He also asked if the bulleted points were indicative of the things that they wanted to touch on and if they had any additions that they wanted to make to the agenda.

The prospect replied in less than an hour stating that Richard had summed up what they wanted and that they had no other additions.

The next meeting went extremely well and we ended up selling a $150K solution to the new client.

Richard was the consummate sales representative. He spent years as a sales rep for IBM selling some pretty high-end equipment. He acquired a variety of serious skills and techniques along the way that served us well when we were together at this storage company.

Richard focused on being a consultant, creating business value for his clients. He was not interested in learning the tricks of the trade, using the latest gimmicks or any of the various fancy closes. He created success for his clients and they trusted him for it.

Using an agenda to set up your sales calls is one way to establish rapport with your clients. Its one way of stating that you value their time, and that you want to understand what they are looking for. When you send an agenda, you send a message that you mean business.

It establishes you as a businessperson that sells and provides value to your client.

Using an agenda is so easy to do, yet so few sales reps actually take the time to create one. They forget that a sales meeting is a business meeting, and all business meetings flow smoother when there is an agenda to for all parties to follow.

If you want to stand out in the minds of your clients and create a favorable impression, use an agenda to set up your sales meeting. Not only will your meeting flow smoothly, but your clients will appreciate the value that you bring to the relationship.

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