Customer Appointment

The Appointment

Do not go unprepared!

Bear in mind that when you are at an appointment, the prospect has made time for you to be there so make it an enjoyable experience for them. Positioning your product or service is really important so make it easy for prospects to understand this – one very effective way is to tell stories where your product or service has solved a problem similar to that of your prospect.
Prior to going to your appointment:

  • Identify as many of your prospect organisation’s decision-makers and influencers as you can, and assess what their needs, motives and relationships are.
  • Try to get a feel for what the organisational politics are.
  • What are your prospect’s strategic issues, aims, priorities and problems, or if you can’t discover these pre-meeting, what are they generally for the market sector in which the prospect operates?
  • Prepare your opening statements and practice your sales presentation.
  • Prepare your presentation in the format in which you are to give it. The first presentation is likely to be on to one/two so should be “Chalk and Talk” i.e just use informal illustrations on a white board rather than Powerpoint .
  • Prepare a handout to leave behind and always have spares – allow for more than the planned numbers as extra people can often appear at the last minute.
  • Prepare a checklist of questions or headings that will ensure you gather all the information you need from the meeting.
  • Think carefully about what you want to get from the meeting and organise your planning to achieve it.
  • Prepare your opening statements and practice your sales presentation.

 

The Appointment

When you get to your appointment, first impressions are very important. The first 10 seconds sets the scene.

  • Dress well, smile, strong handshake – be professional, and take confidence from the fact that you are well-prepared.
  • Introduce yourself – name, your role, your company and what it does (ensure this is orientated to appeal to the prospect’s strategic issues).
  • Set the scene – explain the purpose of your visit and ask how much time your prospect has and agree a time to finish.
  • Ask if it’s okay to take notes (it’s polite to ask – also, all business information is potentially sensitive, and asking shows you realise this).
  • Set the agenda. Ask if it’s okay to start by asking the prospect to outline their business and what requirements they are looking to address. Afterwards give a quick overview of your own company homing in on any relevant areas the prospect has mentioned. You can then tailor your response.
  • LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN. Show interest in their business – people still buy from people they like.
  • Find out what the prospect’s organisational decision-making process is and what the financial parameters are (eg., budgets, year-end date).
  • Ask about competition.
  • Ask – Why did you see me?
  • Ask – FOR THE BUSINESS.

“First impressions are very important. 

The first 10 seconds sets the scene “

Call me on 07786 228553 or contact me here if you would like to talk further about winning more business and other ideas.

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