Structuring Sales Meetings
When selling face to face, we need to be in control of the meeting without dominating or making the other person feel out of control. To achieve this, we need to ensure we are structuring sales meetings.
The following structure is simple and can actually be used for any product or service that is being sold. The structure takes into account that there may be more than one sales visit before the actual sale takes place. At each stage, you should seek some commitment from the customer to advance the sale to the next stage in the process.
OPEN THE MEETING
The purpose is to introduce yourself and establish rapport before moving into the business part of the meeting. Avoid being too familiar at this stage unless you know the customer well.
SET THE AGENDA
The purpose of this phase is to put you in control and establish how the meeting will be structured. It also gains you the right to ask questions. An example of an agenda statement could be:
“Thank you for seeing me today Mr Jones. As you know, I represent Zing365 Ltd. We offer a range of products and services, and I would like to begin by asking you a few questions to see which range best suits your needs. Is that okay?”
Once you have gained the customer’s agreement ask if there is anything that they would like to discuss at the meeting. This gives them confidence in you and the opportunity to contribute to the meeting.
Selling is about identifying and then solving problems. The next stage, therefore, is to ask questions in order to identify and explore the customer’s problems.
The process of asking questions will clarify the customer’s problems in his or her mind and give you a clear idea on whether features of your product could solve those problems and satisfy their needs.
PRESENT THE SOLUTION
Having clarified the customer’s problems and identified needs, present the features and benefits of your product in such a way that the solution meets the needs of the customer.
Having presented a solution that meets the customer’s needs the next phase is to gain commitment to go ahead or for some future action that will move you nearer towards your primary objective.
The next stage is to practice using the sales structure and become familiar with this approach so that it becomes second nature.