The Magic Sentence That Takes The Tension Out Of Your First Meeting

OK. Good job! You got the appointment with this important prospect. Now what? You better plan carefully and intelligently. No winging it - you're better than that. You're a professional salesperson - a value resource, a consultant to your prospect, not a product pusher or a data dumper. So - be PREPARED. But how? Start with the critical questions that every prospect wants answered when you show up for a sales call:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you want?
  • Why are you here?
  • Who do you represent?
  • What's in it for me?

Here's how you can do it: "I'm (your name) from (your company) and the purpose of our meeting today is to meet you, get to know you better, talk with you about (whatever your product/service is) and to discuss anything you might like to discuss with me."NOW SHUT UP AND LISTEN TO YOUR PROSPECT'S RESPONSEYou'll be amazed at how this simple, direct way of approaching your prospect takes the tension out of those first few seconds of your encounter. Notice that the wording of this phrase gets to the point and answers all of your prospect's unspoken questions quickly - AND you're putting the focus on the prospect..."Get to know you, talk with you, and discuss anything you might like to discuss..."...That last point is critical because you're letting the prospect know that you're interested in talking about THEIR concerns. Next, you can use a "bonding statement" like this one: "We work hard to make sure our customers get exactly what they want, and that's how I'd like to work with you. In order to see if I can do that, do you mind if I ask you some questions?"NOW SHUT UP AND LISTEN TO YOUR PROSPECT'S RESPONSEUsually you'll hear, "OK, go ahead." So let your prospect do the talking (if they choose to). The best way to encourage talking is to ask reflective, open-ended, easy-to-answer questions in a conversational way. But sometimes you might hear, "I don't have time to answer questions." In that case, you can ask, "When would be a good time to continue?" After all, the reality is simple: If a prospect won't talk to you, they probably won't buy from you either!

Published on July 02, 2007

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