Are You in the Top 2% Who Are Creating a Compelling Reason for Buyers to Meet With You?
What's the biggest challenge facing salespeople these days? If you're like a growing number of sales people, you might say that the biggest challenge happens right at the beginning of the sales relationship. We hear it all the time—setting up an initial meeting with a prospective client is getting tougher and tougher. Even trying to set up a meeting with an existing client is becoming a challenge. What's going on?
At one time, you could secure a meeting by calling a potential buyer on the phone and saying, "Let's meet." But those days are gone. Companies have streamlined and reduced staff, meaning that everyone is stretched to do more work, with fewer resources and less budget. Bottom line: busy buyers will only meet with you if you give them a compelling reason to meet. Regular visits, drop-by visits, and "let me show you what's new" meetings no longer make the grade.
So, how are salespeople adapting? Are they meeting the new standard and creating compelling reasons to meet? The many buyers I've spoken to recently have some disappointing news. They tell me that less than 2 percent of salespeople are doing a great job of convincing them that they should take even 10 minutes from their demanding schedules for a meeting.
And, perhaps even more alarming: buyers are saying that when they actually do meet with salespeople, only 50 percent are doing a great job of impressing them during the meeting. Ouch—these stats are hurting the purpose and professionalism of salespeople!
In response, I've put together a few recommendations to help you join the upper echelon of sales people—those who are creating a compelling reason to meet and who then reward their clients with a purposeful meeting that provides real value.
- Give your prospect quantifiable reasons to give you the time to meet. Put yourself in the buyer's shoes. What will they gain from the meeting?
- Do your research. Be prepared. This applies to both phone calls and meetings. This is where the rubber hits the road. Forget "winging it"—those days are gone.
- Customize your unique advantage. What products and services do you have that this customer would be interested in? And, most importantly, WHY? To craft more compelling messages, think this through and then practice incorporating phrases like: "We offer the only..." and "To help you... ."
- Now, take it a step further. How can you make it more powerful for the buyer? Pique their interest by customizing your solutions for them. As an example: "We have trade show promotional solutions that will help you increase quality leads by 22 percent during your fall show." Be specific and name the trade show they are exhibiting at. This is where your research pays off!
- Cut to the chase. Don't waste your client's time. Some buyers tell us that they don't even want to hear the words, "How are you?"
- Ask for 10-15 minutes to set up either a telephone call or F2F meeting. And make sure you have your calendar open with optional dates so that you can quickly secure the meeting.
- If you can only get through to voice mail, then leave a voice mail message. Then follow-up with a compelling email—and here's where you may have to be tenacious. After the email, send your prospect a LinkedIn message. Then revise your message a little and send another email, or try another phone call. Be creative—think about how many different touch points you could use to reach them.
- Most importantly, set yourself up for success. Practice the power of self-conversation before you make these calls.
- Harness the power of referrals. Whenever possible, use the name of a referral or reference a related company. Buyers tell us that this is one thing that actually gets their attention.
- Use the power of promotional products to reinforce your unique message. Be creative and think of unusual ways to get the attention of this buyer.
Thought Provoking Question: Which technique will you hone and master to make it to the top 2%?