Woohoo...You got the appointment! Now, before you head off to the meeting, do you know if you have you the decision-maker(s) in the room? All too often, every prospect seems to be the decision maker until it's time to make the decision (to buy or not to buy).
By asking the right questions and setting the expectations clear from the very beginning; you (the salesperson) can be ensured the person with the purchasing authority is in the room. Save time and energy for all parties involved by following a few simple techniques from Sandler Training during the sales meeting:
Review the reasons for the meeting up-front: the purpose of the meeting, the length of time allocated, and setting expectations of both parties from the very beginning.
Determine the Cast of Characters. Understanding who are the stars, co-stars, and support actors before the initial meeting. Do your research.
Ask open-ended questions: keep the communication open and going by asking the who, what, where, when, why, and how things are done. Example of open-ended questions include:
Who besides yourself will be involved in the decision process? Which department will be most affected by the decision? Why are things done that way? When do you see yourself deciding to move forward? What is the decision making process the company usually goes through before buying? How does the committee decide? Use active listening throughout the process.
Keep them talking by using Sandler Training techniques such as reversing, dummy up, going more negative, and Chinese menu.
Qualify by determining if there is a fit. Get a decision of "yes" or "no," but decrease the likeliness of think it overs. Questioning to see if all the questions have been met. Then, determine the next steps and outcomes.
From our experiences, the sales meeting will go a lot smoother by using the above techniques. Before your next sales meeting, be sure to gather the right decision-makers in the room from the very beginning and ask the underlying questions to uncover the prospect's pain.
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