So you’ve managed to get that first meeting with a key prospect. You know they need what you’re selling, and you are prepared with references from companies just like this one, the compelling financial justification, and the “can’t live without it” feature list.
Here’s the problem – you’ve made some assumptions just because they decided to meet with you. The biggest of these is the assumption that they are interested in buying your product or service. Based on lots of experience, I’d suggest that’s a dangerous assumption that leads you into a sales call strategy that results in a “that’s interesting, we’ll get back to you” reaction from the prospect.
So, I’d suggest two questions that you should ask early in every call that will keep you from making this assumptive error – you won’t ask them in exactly these words, but you need the answers before you get very far into the call.
Question One is “Why are you meeting with me today?”
You’ll get an answer something like “We want to see your product/service.” It’s easy to accept that because it supports your assumption, but the correct reaction is “That’s nice, but why is that?”, followed by additional questions until there’s an answer something like “We need help with….”
Question Two is “What’s going on here?”
This follows the answer to Question One and leads you to a more detailed explanation of what problem or issue prompted their interest.
Now, you can start using your references, product features, and financial justification in the context of what the prospect is really concerned about and interested in. You are very likely to generate a continuing discussion rather than a “We’ll get back to you.”