Every business needs new customers or clients to survive and thrive. Touting for opportunities is resource intensive, so here are the top ten tips for ensuring you kiss more princes than frogs:
- Do your homework beforehand. Ensure you are targeting the right businesses. Research them to help focus your meeting plan.
- Think buyer. Put yourself in the shoes of the person you're meeting. What are their likely problems and needs?
- Plan your outcome. What's a realistic and successful result from the meeting? What needs to be explored to achieve this?
- Execute the three Ps: Introduce the people, explain their purpose (each person's distinctive contribution to the meeting) and ask permission to take notes.
- Agree the agenda - share your points and theirs.
- Lead with questions. The best sellers tell less and ask more questions. In particular, they ask specific questions to uncover and develop the prospect's needs – both positive and negative.
- Connect: Demonstrate your capability (and your listening skills) by linking your products or services with the needs they've expressed. Enhance the credibility of the connection by providing proof.
- Test understanding regularly. Check out whether you've correctly understood what's been said and whether people have understood your contributions.
- Summarise: Accurately recap part or all of the discussion so that both parties leave the meeting with a clear and shared understanding.
- Agree actions on both sides so that both you and the prospect commit to do something to progress the sale.
Putting these tips into practice will pay dividends. You'll be better prepared, you'll be able to demonstrate both your interest and your listening skills, and share relevant information about your business rather than corporate "blah, blah".
What's more, you will engage the prospect in moving the sale forward rather than end up being a busy fool yourself. Oh, and you'll end up kissing more princes and far fewer frogs.
Sponsored post. Copyright © 2017 Ally Yates is a consultant and trainer and the author of Utter Confidence: How what you say and do influences your effectiveness in business.