Are you still asking prospects, “What keeps you up at night?” That kind of question is making you look out of touch and may also signal to your prospect that you are totally uninformed about their world, their business, and your place in their ecosystem.
Nowadays, it’s crucially important to show potential clients that you have done your research, are prepared to speak intelligently at the meeting, and that you value their time.
Let’s examine a prepared salesperson’s agenda, vs. a clueless one:
The Prepared Sales Pro
- You reviewed their website and are up to speed on their culture, key goals, and strategies.
- You have listened to their most recent analyst briefing call.
- You have reviewed their LinkedIn presence to find commonalities and connections at the organization.
- You have reviewed industry trends to uncover the issues their management may be addressing and strategizing about.
- You prepare a thoughtful agenda to email to the participants for your sales call, demonstrating that you have a tight, non-timewasting agenda that respects their time.
- You know how you want to open the conversation, and have a handful of open-ended questions ready — questions that show you have done your homework.
- You take the time to prep any attendees to the meeting (from your organization) on the results of your research, explain roles, and practice and agree on who will ask questions, handle objections, etc.
- You brainstorm internally about the possible objectives of the meeting overall and think about how to anticipate questions you may need to ask as the objectives firm up.
- You set specific next steps, , dates, deliverables, and task accountability at the end of the meeting, to take things to the next level.
With this list accomplished, you are likely to execute flawlessly and get the outcome you wanted from the meeting.
The Unprepared Approach
- Do little or no research or planning. You’re great at winging it.
- Make assumptions — clients are all sort of alike.
- As you head into the meeting, brief colleagues on the fly. They’ll catch up….
- And be sure to ask that outdated question – “What keeps you up at night?”
You only get one chance to build your credibility. When you get that meeting set up, ensure you prepare for the specific individual(s) and use everyone’s time wisely.
You’ll sleep just fine, thanks!