Despite how fond reps are of swapping war stories, recounting outrageous one-liners that prompt shaky hands wavering with a dripping pen to finally scrawl on the dotted line, the winners all realise that Closing is a Process.
Where lack of appreciation of this can be most starkly highlighted is what happens after a first-time meeting with a prospect.
An alarm bell (both for any aspiring self-analytical rep or hardened sales manager) is often how many first meetings are burned through with no second meeting ever following.
I’ve been closely involved with an endeavour lately in an arena notorious for it’s spectacular lack of results. In spite of the obvious fall back that too many ‘prospect-side’ lack enthusiasm, in my view it is equally the fault of the commercial vendors as it is their oft-derided for disinterest public sector counterparts.
The prime reason for this is that however well-intentioned the project, relationships seem to fizzle out after meeting number one.
Consequently I was delighted just now to see an email which focused on creating a process of activity between potential partners in this field.
In short, if you find yourself struggling to construct a plan for progression in the maelstrom of your meeting conclusion, here’s two tips to get you on track:
Agreed Next Action
Too often it is the seller that leaves with a raft of tasks to do, in the misplaced belief that doing loads of work will put you in a healthy light. Think of what your prospect should be willing to do for you once you’ve left their building. And have a plan to discuss it later.
Never Yes Or No
Too many first-meets make it easy for the prospect to dismiss any potential proposal. Shift the focus from a binary outcome. When faced with a strict ‘yes’ or ‘no’ most people will gravitate towards the ‘no’. There’s no emotional investment yet in your plans, so instead encourage either a ‘yes’, or a ‘what more do you we need to do to assess this’ style.