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 customer.

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 won't 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 to call.

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 don't 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. (Don't use the word appointment). Briefly state your product or service benefit or even a couple of questions at the start of the letter.

But don't make it a sales letter and don't 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 businesslike.

If you sound like you have some worthwhile information to impart and you don't 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 the prospect

4. Close - Ask for a short meeting at mutually convenient time

5. Deal with resistance - Acknowledge what the prospect says, outweigh with a benefit and close again

6. Don't use the word "appointment"

7. Don't start selling your product/service on the 'phone only sell the meeting

8. Don't say you'll send literature, say you'll bring it with you

9. Don't be pushy, be persistent and pleasant

10. Have a fall-back position. If they won't 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 won't win them all however if you sound professional and pleasant, potential customers are more likely to see you, so don't give up.

Alan Fairweather is the author of four ebooks in the "How to get More Sales" series. Lots of practical actions you can take to build your business and motivate your team - http://www.howtogetmoresales.com

In The News:

sales management fundamentals  Contracting Business
Sales Manager  Charlotte Agenda
mastering sales fundamentals  Contracting Business
Qualys Stock Rises On New Security Platform  Investor's Business Daily
Sales and Marketing Management  Business 2 Community
Seven Reasons Why A Sales Manager Can Fail  Radio & Television Business Report
Retail's Weak Link  Furniture World Magazine
How to Improve Sales Performance  Business 2 Community

Building Trust For Lifetime Success

Trust.One word.One very powerful word that can increase both first... Read More

Never Trust a Silent Customer

Imagine you run a pizza parlour. You have all these... Read More

The Boss from Hell: Quick to Criticize, Slow to Praise

So you have a boss who dumps all over you... Read More

Why Performance-Based Recruiting Produces Top Sales Performers

Many recruiting ads and job descriptions include "knockout factors" that... Read More

How We Build a 90% Failure Rate into the Sales Process

I recently began doing training in the banking industry. Across... Read More

Are Your Business Proposals Losing You Sales? 10 Steps to Get the ?Yes? You Deserve

Your ability to write an effective and persuasive business proposal... Read More

All Small Businesses Need to Gather Community Intel

How well do you know your community? As business owners... Read More

Profitable Relationships: Is It Amateur Hour or King of the Hill?

"We're in the relationship business?...airplanes are what we use to... Read More

Train a Winning Sales Team: Rounding Third and Heading for Home

Although I never met the man, I imagine Lou Boudreau... Read More

Not Enough Fresh Sales Leads? Marketing is the New Sales

Your sales are down and leads are rare. The phone's... Read More

Small Business Marketing: Overtaking Your Competitors

Few businesses keep tabs on competitors, yet such knowledge can... Read More

Increase Retail Sales With Meetups

I recently attended the monthly Italian language Meetup here in... Read More

Baditude!

As a group of sales trainees took a break from... Read More

The Benefits of Catalog Sales For Your Business

Things to watch out for when selling your product in... Read More

How to Beat the 80/20 Rule in Sales Performance -- Part 2

Another key reason why companies suffer from 80/20 performance is... Read More

The Art of Sales (And Tips On How To Manage Your Sales Team)

Selling. Cold calls, introductions, interviews, appointments, proposals, referrals, call cycles,... Read More

3 Secrets That Set The Context For Sales Success

In today's competitive environment, every organization is trying to improve... Read More

Do You Really Want Local County Contracts?

If you really want to secure government contacts at the... Read More

How To Have A Successful Retail Sales Event

In the 30-plus years I spent working in advertising and... Read More

8 Line Items of a Trade Show Budget

Budget Guidelines for Trade Show MarketingB'techa didn't know - Trade... Read More

The Four ?D?s of Sales Management

Recently I stumbled across some notes that I had kept... Read More

Franchise Sales; Recruiting of Laid Off Employees

Because of corporate downsizing, many people have been laid-off or... Read More

Seven Deadly Sales Mistakes That Cost Business Owners Big Money - And What To Do About Them

1. LOOKING for a "quick fix" to close more sales... Read More

Commodity Sales Prospecting - How to Stand Out From Your Competitors

I have received a number of requests for advice from... Read More

Sales Pipeline Forecasting Is There A Better Way?

To put it mildly most companies sales forecasting just isn't... Read More