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The Up-Front Contract: A Must For Every Sales Meeting
Blog / For Sales Pros / Jul 17, 2015 / Posted by Lori Harmon / 6926 

The Up-Front Contract: A Must For Every Sales Meeting

No matter how experienced a salesperson may be, there’s always some hesitancy about the sales call or meeting. Yes, the prospect has agreed to take the meeting, but how do you keep the participants engaged and focused? The call might be in-person or it might be remote and distributed. You want to set a specific tone so both sides of the table are happy, while respecting their time and making sure everyone knows what happens next.

One way to make sure things go smoothly is to employ an Up-Front Contract (UFC) for your meeting. This is a practice designed by the Sandler System. With a UFC, the meeting organizer outlines exactly what will take place as the sales process progresses — and the results expected at each step.

Each Up-Front Contract should include five elements:

  • The date, location, and duration of the meeting.
  • The purpose of the meeting — along with anticipated future actions and deliverables.
  • The prospect/client’s agenda for the meeting (including expectations of the seller before and during the meeting).
  • The seller’s agenda for the meeting (including expectations of the prospect before and during the meeting).
  • The expected outcome, overall, for the meeting.

The benefits are clear. An agenda for each meeting insures that there’s an end result in sight. The salesperson has the opportunity to ask relevant questions to advance the sale, and can overcome objections that arise. But most importantly, both sides of the table have a clear opportunity to see and express opinions about places in the sale where there isn’t a fit.

After every meeting, be sure to send out a summary, documenting both your discussion points and next steps. This puts a structure on the next interaction — it’s in writing.

When you use this solid tactic at every sales call or meeting, you will begin to see your velocity and close rate rise. To get more tips on crushing your quota, check out our webinar.

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Author, Sales Acceleration Expert, and Application Security Executive

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Inside sales is the fastest growing sales channel due to its cost effective nature. An inside sales rep can handle far more contacts on a daily basis than their field sales counterpart. If you are a "C" level executive with responsibility for delivering revenue, you…
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