3 Steps To Getting A Sales Meeting
The best way to get a new customer is to clearly identify
who you want
to do business with and then get in front of them. They can
then see what you look
like, possibly see what your product looks like and also
examine any data or
statistics you might have. It gives you the ideal
opportunity to start building
a positive working relationship with your potential
Advertising, direct mail, web sites and telesales all have
their place but nothing beats the face to face interview.
The first challenge is, of course, getting to speak to your
prospect and arrange a meeting.
When you phone your prospect's organisation it's highly
possible you will not get through initially even if you have
their direct number. There's always an assistant, a
colleague or voice mail to deal with.
# 1 Deal with the other person
1. Always be pleasant and polite. Use the person's name as
soon as you know it
but not over familiar.
2. Use your prospects name and your name; say – "Will you
please tell John Smith that Alan Fairweather is on the phone
for him. "
3. If you're asked what it's about, say – "It's about the
contents of a letter Mr Smith has received. (More later)
Will you tell him that Alan Fairweather is on the phone for
him please! "
4. If you're told that your prospect is in a meeting, find
out what time they'll be
out of the meeting and ask if it that would be a good time
5. Thank the person for their help and say – "I'll call back
at 3.30 and look forward to speaking to John then. Thanks
for your help Mary. "
None of this is easy but persevere and do not be nuisance.
Always be friendly, firm
and courteous with Mary.
It sometimes helps to send a brief letter to your prospect
explaining that you'll call to arrange a short meeting.
(Do not use the word appointment). Briefly state your
product or service benefit or even a couple of questions at
the start of the letter.
But do not make it a sales letter and do not enclose
literature. (Your prospect gets
enough of the stuff).
# 2 Deal with voice mail:
1. Give your name, business name and phone number. Speak
slow and clear, warm, friendly and businesslike.
2. Say what you do – "Were the people who minimise
production time and cost on ….. I'd appreciate the
courtesy of a return call on …….. "
3. You might want to make an appointment to call – "I
appreciate you're very busy Mr Smith, however I have some
interesting information for you. I'll call back at 3pm and
would be pleased if you'd speak to me. "
4. Follow up with a fax or email and make it human.
5. Leave your phone number again, slow and clear.
Again this is a challenge, however if you sound warm and
friendly and that you
could be worth talking to, then you'll get call backs.
Always keep customer details
handy because when prospects call back they say – "Hi Alan,
its Fred I'm returning your call. "
If you made twenty calls that day you may not initially know
who Fred is, so be prepared.
# 3 Sell the meeting
Once you speak to your prospect on the 'phone you need to do
a good selling job to get the meeting.
Most of the time they're going to say something like – "I'm
not really interested, we already have a supplier, I'm a bit
busy at present. "
Always keep in mind that the majority of prospects are
reasonable human beings and they have nothing against you
personally. There's also a strong possibility that they'll
welcome a visit from you if you sound warm, friendly and
If you sound like you have some worthwhile information to
impart and you do not sound pushy or manipulative then you're
more likely to get that meeting.
Plan your call carefully and consider the following.
1. Greeting – Speak slowly and clearly using the prospects
name, your name, and your business name
2. Courtesy – Ask if it's convenient to speak
3. Introduction – Say what you do and provide a benefit to
4. Close – Ask for a short meeting at mutually convenient
5. Deal with resistance – Acknowledge what the prospect
says, outweigh with a benefit and close again
6. Do not use the word "appointment"
7. Do not start selling your product / service on the 'phone
only sell the meeting
8. Do not say you'll send literature, say you'll bring it
9. Do not be pushy, be persistent and pleasant
10. Have a fall-back position. If they will not see you this
time then ask if it would be OK to 'phone at an agreed time
in the future – and make sure you do so.
You will not win them all however if you sound professional and
pleasant, potential customers are more likely to see you, so
do not give up.