There are five words that you should be wary of when leaving a Prospect/ Client meeting or call. Those five words are: “I think that went well!”
We want to be dealing with as much certainty in sales as possible (not false hope) and if you leave that conversation or meeting thinking “yeah I think that went well…” That means that potentially there are some questions that haven’t been answered.
It could potentially mean that the actions are one sided, in other words you’re doing more of the tasks and really what you want is mutual agreement -so there’s actions from each party.
This way everyone’s got a clear understanding of what happens next -what the next step is however big or small that might be.
If you find yourself saying: “I think that went well…” There’s definitely some further questions you can ask. Think about that before you make your next call or before you go into your next meeting: how are you going to establish what the mutual next actions are.
That will tell you how much buy-in there is and then you have a much healthier pipeline otherwise the risk is that 60% of it turns into a futile chasing situation…
If you find this is the response from your Sales team, it’s a signal to give them some help!
Do you ever wish you could hear what your Prospects or customers are saying to their colleagues when you’ve left the meeting? Recently I sat in with one of my customers -they had a potential supplier visit and after they left the first things that were said was “That went on a bit didn’t it!”
The trigger moment for that statement was when they pulled out some slides- the first few were relevant to what was being discussed but quickly lost impact as the salesperson kept clicking through them. You could feel the energy drop, the motives and curiosity from my customers who they were so keen to impress disappeared.
Now the only action that is going to happen after that meeting is that of my customer creatively avoiding the salesperson during a painful follow up process!
I bet that salesperson left the meeting thinking “yeah that went well I think we’ll get them on board” and telling their boss the odds are good! I’ve done it myself in the past too!
When you prepare for your next call or meeting: how are you going to engage and enthuse rather than disengage and alienate! If you’re using slides make sure they are targeted and leave the “About us” content on your website! And if you don’t enjoy being talked at through a load of slides you can guarantee your Prospect won’t!
Here’s a great objection handling tip, it’s called “Remove The Risk!” A little while back it looked like I’d missed the opportunity with a Prospect- I got in contact with him and he said “Oh you’re too late it looks like we’ve gone for another solution.”
So I said “okay well where are you with your decision-making at the moment if you don’t mind me asking? He said “well we’ve seen three suppliers and so we’re now just going through the process of deciding which one we should engage with.”
I asked him how long ago he’d seen the last provider. He replied “Just over a couple of weeks ago, why?” I then replied to him: “The fact that it’s been a good couple of weeks since you saw the last provider tells me that it’s likely that none of the potential solutions that you saw really stood out otherwise you’re very likely to have made your decision by now…”
He then replied “okay what are you suggesting then?” I said “what I’d like to suggest is that I come and see you give you my proposal and if it turns out that I’ve got the ingredients you’re really looking for then that means the decision-making is done for you, or if it turns out that my solution isn’t the right one then that tells you that the true decision lies with one of those three other providers.”
He agreed to see me and at the end of the meeting it was my company (I’m happy to say) that he engaged with and I never would have had the opportunity if I hadn’t have challenged the initial objection in that positive way.
My recommendation to you is when you hear that people are already perhaps partly through the decision -making process, there’s still an opportunity to probe further and potentially give them some helpful ideas and may end up winning the business. It may also be that you’ve got opportunities in your pipeline that perhaps have gone stale and you need to look at ways you could approach the Prospects in order to remove the risk like I did and stimulate them to take action. I hope you find this useful and please check out my great new online sales course: Sell More, Easily!