There are very few things in sales that are always true, but I’m pretty sure this is one of them:
If a salesperson is not communicating with a prospect who might buy their product, then chances for a sale are very low.
Of course there are marketing driven and automated / online repeat order situations, but except for those, some kind of dialogue needs to happen for the sale to occur.
So with that in mind, wouldn’t it be great if there some way to ensure that when a salesperson suggests that some kind of sales related conversation or communication should occur, that the prospect was very, very inclined to accept?
Good news: There is!
Bad news: It is not a “trick”, and it will take some skill and effort, but if you do it right, it will work almost every time.
So what is this secret, magical approach?
It has to do with the prospects task list.
Think about it this way – we are all too busy. When you contact a prospect and ask to take some of their time, there are two ways they can think about your request:
Typically, we think of meetings and phone calls or e-mails as things we have to do – or tasks. Whether or not there is an actual list, we think of these communication sessions as tasks on our virtual or otherwise list. They are things to do.
So the first way that a prospect can think about your communication request is as a task. People have an instinctive reaction to adding things to their tasks lists, and it is not positive.
So what is a better way?
The second way that prospects might think about your communication request also relates to their task list, but in a completely opposite way.
Their task list is already full, and probably with all kinds of problems they have to solve. Some simple, some complex, some immediate, some long term – but – and here is the good part – some that might be solved with the help of some of the products or services you sell!
And that is the sweet spot!
If your request for a sales related communication can be set up such that the prospect thinks that meeting with you will help them to get something that is currently on their task list off of that task list, then your request will be welcomed.
So how can we do that?
Whenever we ask something of our prospects – whether it is for a meeting, or the deal itself, they will say yes when there is sufficient value in it for them. If we are asking for a meeting, one way to ensure that it is valuable for the prospect is if the meeting will help them solve an existing problem, or get something off of their task list.
So before asking for a meeting, make sure that you communicate with your prospect. Make sure that there is a mutual understanding about why you want to meet, and how the solutions you provide can solve problems that the prospect already has.
For you, this makes the prospect a qualified prospect, and for the prospect, this makes you a valuable solution provider.
Pretty solid way to start – no?
But how can you do that in the 30-60 seconds you have to get their attention on the phone, in a passing conversation or with an e-mail? In my self-study online training course and my books, I map out what I call the SCORE call – the Sales COmmunication REquest. If you set it up right, it doesn’t have to take long.
NOTE: I also write about the SCORE call in my FREE eBook on prospecting, which you can sign up to instantly receive by clicking here.
Finding the right reason, and then asking for the meeting because of that reason is the core of the “trick”. Set it up right, and it can be very effective, for you and for the prospect.
You will be more likely to set it up right if you know what it is you are trying to set up, and taking the perspective that your successful meeting or communication request hinges on the degree to which the communication can get something off of their task list.
If you can convince them that it will, they will probably be very happy to meet you, and to see how you can help with that!
Authors note (AKA shameless plugs)
So, this 7-step sales process and associated topics…. Yup, I write about that a lot. I’ve been working with it since I developed it about 25 years ago – in my own diverse work experiences, with my teams when I had them, and with clients ever since.
If you would like to develop you own personalized and customized, highly effective and efficient B2B selling system, here are some further steps you can take:
The Salesman’s Guide to Dating is a free or very cheap (depending on Amazon) Kindle book that walks you through the sales process using the familiar analogy of dating. It’s a good, fun and quick way to get your mind around the whole process and how the pieces fit together.
Building Your Sales Process (BYSP) is a free and very thorough exploration of the same 7-step process that will walk you through the development of your own customized, personal B2B selling system. When you are done, you will know exactly what to do to get new business.
The Momentum Selling System® is an inexpensive but very robust online sales training course that is similar to BYSP, but goes deeper into the concepts behind each of the steps, and also helps you develop a plan not only for the 7-step process but also addresses mindset, repeat business and client base management.
If none of that sounds right, I do personal coaching and offer a free 30-minute intake session so that we can both learn if it makes sense to work together 1-on-1. If this sounds interesting, click over to the coaching page on this site and sign up for the free session.
Here’s to your success!