In the world of B2B sales, there are usually multiple interactions with prospects for a given opportunity. Good sales meeting management ensures that each contact with potential clients, whether it’s actual face time, a phone conversation or email, is managed to move an opportunity forward.
Before you go into a meeting, think through the agenda and prepare to ask your Buying Influence(s) to do something to advance the sale. Decide on the best action you can hope for and the least you’re willing to accept to keep investing your time in this opportunity.
Here are a few guidelines to help focus your requests to keep the customer engaged and committed.
Is this action commitment specific?
A good Action Commitment is a benchmark; so it should be specific and measurable. Ask: “Before our meeting next week, will you introduce me to your division manager and arrange for a short 15-minute call with him?”
Not: “Will you think about my proposal?”
Does it move the sales forward?
When the prospect performs what s/he commits to do, it should advance the sale further than where you were before this meeting.
Ask: “Now that you’ve reviewed these figures, do you agree that our next step is for you to arrange for a meeting with the committee at the end of the month to discuss your budget requirements?”
Is it realistic for where your customer is currently in the buying cycle?
Your request for a commitment needs to be appropriate for where the customer is in the buying process. Asking your customer to agree on delivery schedules when he’s nowhere near that stage can backfire on you.
Incremental commitments from the customer ensure you’re both moving in the same direction. These commitments are not given freely so plan for them and make sure you ask for them during each meeting to keep the opportunity moving forward.