How to Prepare for a Successful New Business Discussion part two – #3006
In our previous post, #3005, you prepared for the new business discussion by pre-planning and writing your approach on several important items. Those were the before-the-call strategies that are crucial to conducting successful conversations.
This blog will outline the things that must be done during your visit with the prospect.
Step one is to read through the 14 items and mark those that resonate. You want to know the areas where you are already strong and the areas you need to strengthen.
Step two is to decide exactly how you will execute each item while in the meeting. Do not leave it to chance or memory. Write out your ideas and plan for all 14 items.
What to do during your new business discussion:
1. Open with confirming the reason for meeting and the time agreed to spend together.
2. Determine if anyone else should be present.
3. Be prepared to ask for a better meeting space (environment & resources) if necessary.
4. Be prepared to suggest what the prospect’s role is during this meeting. Do not make them guess. Keep them focused and access their expertise. Do not allow them to go off in a different direction.
5. Discuss any assumptions (notion, belief, idea, and hypothesis) that are pertinent to the discussion.
6. Ask questions to better understand how the need came into being (what is the “story” behind the need).
7. Ask how long this need has existed and what has been done to address it.
8. Explore the implication of the need if left unaddressed on:
9. Decide together with the prospect 2 to 3 alternative approaches for resolving the issue.
10. Discuss budget guidelines or limits as well as time lines before you make the proposal.
11. Learn what the prospect would gain personally from solving the issue.
12. Keep your discovery phase separate from your presenting-ideas stage.
13. Agree to the next steps you need to move the sale forward.
14. Have a follow through action item that you will implement the very next day following the meeting. This is far more important than most salespeople realize.
This worksheet, along with the previous one gives you the opportunity to create your own strategy for conducting new business discussions. Since it will create what is most true about you and your business goals, it will be very effective.
Be sure to:
• Follow your plan and follow the lead of your prospect
• Be prepared to go with the flow
• Do not get locked into your process
• Adapt to what you see and what you hear
Richard L. Reardon firstname.lastname@example.org or 310-486-7526
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