You have worked for months to get in the door…
You finally have your first appointment with the targeted executive…
Do you just research the company further and wish for the best?
Or do you stack the call in YOUR favor by establishing a strong perception and expectation from the beginning?
In my early years of selling, I prepared at a high level, visualized a great first meeting, and hoped that this first contact would set the stage for a long-term relationship.
But man, oh man – how many opportunities did I lose that way? Or how many sales cycles were inevitably lengthened and delayed!
It does not have to be that way.
Here is my three-step FORMULA for Staging the Best FIRST Sales Call Ever!
1. RESEARCH the customer’s industry, the company itself and the individual you are calling on. Google or see if the individual has a LinkedIn profile.
2. CRAFT the best FIVE questions you can muster that reflect the research you have completed. These five questions should be thought provoking so that each generates a potentially meaningful conversation. The questions should explore the future for the customer, their challenges and how they compete and differentiate themselves. Do not have these first questions reflect anything about what you offer – the focus is on them.
3. Seven days before your meeting, FAX (preferred) or email the list to the customer with a cover note saying: “Susan, in preparing for our meeting on Friday of next week, here are five questions to guide our discussion. Then, list the five questions followed by a simple “I look forward to our meeting.”
How do you think Susan will react to those five questions?
If Susan is like the other customers we work with and the questions demonstrate relevance to her business, she will react positively.
She will see you as prepared. As someone who is on top of his business. As someone who is most likely a true professional. As someone who is likely to help her succeed.
She will then prepare herself better and in turn anticipate the meeting with more energy and interest.
And what will that do to your sales cycle? Shorten it BIG TIME.
THINK ABOUT IT.