Today’s blog is unusual. It comes in two parts. You will need to thoroughly complete each section in order to develop the new business you are seeking.
My suggestion is that you invest several days completing part one before attempting part two. Human nature being what it is, we tend to rush and miss some important steps. Doing the first part completely will qualify you to do the second part at a much higher level. In a later blog, we will discuss what can happen if steps are skipped or unplanned.
You could easily gain or lose a valuable contract if you do not follow these steps.
Poor planning will cost you business:
Some sales opportunities never develop because of poor planning on the part of the salesperson.
A well-designed process for conducting any type of selling conversation will dramatically improve success in three areas:
- Ability to uncover genuine needs or dissatisfaction
- Skill in helping the prospect determine the solution they want
- Securing new business by following your own customer-focused method.
A new business discussion is the key to success since your presence will impact the quality of the discussion you create.
Successful Selling relies on trust, and it is your approach to the new business discussion that makes all the difference. Once trust is established, possibilities appear.
Without trust, you will have difficultly generating effective, new business discussions.
A preparation worksheet:
Today’s worksheet lists the items you need to do ahead of the meeting.
The next post, # 3006, will address what to do during the meeting.
Read through all 10 items indicating with a check mark those that seem important to you at this time.
Write your ideas and approach for all 10 points. You are designing your approach to each item in advance.
You will want to pay extra attention to those items that seem to resonate. Rely on past experience to guide you. From past experience, you will know what you want to avoid, prevent and accomplish. Design this conversation from the perspective of a successful call.
Your intuition will tell you where you are already strong and where you need more work.
Having all 10 of these thoroughly planned items will give you self confidence during the meeting.
The items for planning a new business conversation:
Things you must do before the meeting:
- Remind yourself of the purpose of the meeting and how much time you will have.
- Lay out the ‘steps” needed in the discussion to reach the end goal for this meeting. Really understand the reason for each step and how it helps the conversation.
- Have a plan to eliminate the tension that can be present at the first meeting.
- Plan on speaking approximately 30% of the time and listening 70%.
- Write out five questions that you believe will uncover the prospect’s needs.
- Decide the probes you can use to uncover the prospect’s feelings beneath the issue and opportunities. For instance, “How will addressing this help you personally in the coming year?”
- Decide the longer term benefit from your work and have several future focused “imagine if” questions ready. For instance, “Will this change help your team on the xy project next year?”
- Based 100% on what you hear, be willing to paint the “is now” and “could be” pictures to get a response.
- Know the next best 2 to 3 steps you will need to take assuming that all goes well.
- Be prepared to discuss budget in terms of minimum, realistic and optimistic. Know your fees and be able to adapt to the actual need.
This is a lot or work. However, once done, you will reap the harvest for years to come.
Please work on these items and let me know how you do.
Next, in post 5006, we will cover what you must do during the meeting.
As always, feel free to Email me at Richard@Richardreradon.com
You might also join our twice monthly free roundtable forum conversations Here.
Richard L Reardon