A primary success factor is knowing what you want to achieve and how you will do it and then pursuing to remain on target for what you want.
Before accepting any offer that may intrigue us, albeit a new position, a prospective client, or a business offer, we must research all pros and cons before agreeing to a partnership. Should uncertainty enter the picture, speak with trusted peers and advisors in the industry willing to share their knowledge and insights. Otherwise, the con may take over, and the next step will be to seek legal advice.
When meeting with clients, it is best to do much research ahead of time concerning their industry, competitive leaders, and the company’s status. Upon gathering information, consider all your questions and prioritize them for when you speak with your prospect. A first meeting goal is to learn about your prospect’s current status and plans for deeper understanding and to build credibility and trust. The gold is in the answers you receive to all of your questions. Only then can you realize a robust plan that will benefit all parties.
The Conversation Upfront
Two sales slogans bear weight in the paragraph above:
- “Work for a win-win.” The appendix is if more people are in the discussion, work for a win for all!
- Speak to every prospect’s needs, wants, and desires to fully understand their positioning, desires, and how you may assist.
Remain On Target
- The business in question aligns with my priorities and goals.
- The company has a solid reputation.
- Our principles for conducting business match those of one another.
Detective Work Upfront
It’s best to research a website, including the team members, to gain further insights before speaking with someone about the possibility of doing business together. A Google search will provide helpful insights, including whether a company is legitimate. Should they partner with other firms, I will research those too. Attempting to sell is only beneficial once we do our detective work upfront.
Detective Work for Sales
Detective work also applies to dealing with prospective clients. The salesperson is responsible for becoming familiar with as many aspects of their work as possible. Upon analyzing a conversation after the fact, I would frequently call my prospect the following day. My opening line was to say, ‘I was thinking about you to realize I have one more question,’ and then ask permission to proceed. My teammates would refer to me as the Columbo detective of sales.
Set Rules for Engagement
If you know the feeling of being sorry about an agreement with another that seemed to enter a sinkhole, then you are the first to realize the need to set engagement rules. Values and priorities come first. Next, the research on many levels requires time and thought about whether the necessary effort to make it a success is likely a good decision.
Effective selling includes a collaborative effort with your prospects and clientele and is frequently the differentiator for success. On the other hand, not being selective can lead to a downhill slope, only to regret ever saying yes.
Be On Target for What You Want
No matter the type of business we represent, it is always best to have all issues on the table for discussion to avoid future missteps and regret. Training ourselves to set necessary rules upfront enables us to achieve our desired goals.
Sales Tips: Set Rules for Engagement
- Values and priorities must match for accepting business.
- Ask prospects why they asked you for a meeting.
- Listen carefully for more questions to ask of the person.
- Admit to what you may not understand and ask for clarification.
- Strive to build trust and credibility.
- Openly share appropriate stories to encourage prospects to do the same.
- Tasteful humor can lighten the conversation and promote deeper sharing.
- Request the prospect’s timeline for resolving their issue.
- Before leaving an appointment, ask if a return appointment is doable.
- Celebrate Success!