By Jill Konrath
Want to capture the attention of today’s crazy-busy prospects? Propose an initial
meeting that’s only five minutes long. Suggest a short phone call or a quick
online conference that will give them an opportunity to determine if it’s worth
continuing the conversation.
1. Focus on Challenges
Your prospects only care about their challenges, not your products or
services. Begin your mini meeting by sharing your understanding of the
key issues that prevent them from achieving their business objectives.
“Virtually every VP of Sales we work with these days is concerned
about new customer acquisition. Their salespeople are struggling to set
up meetings with key decision makers.”
2. Share Outcomes
Give examples of similar customers that you’ve worked with in the past.
Make sure you tell about how they were doing things before they did
business with you and then the results they achieved. “For example, we
recently worked with Generic Systems. Their reps couldn’t reach
decision makers in their key targeted accounts. All they ever got was
voicemail. After working with them, 87% of the salespeople set up
meetings in just 2 months.”
3. Engage in Conversation
Plan your questions ahead of time because it’s impossible to think of
good ones on the spot. Make them provocative so that your prospect
has to do a little thinking. “How big of an issue is new customer
acquisition for you? What initiatives are currently underway in this
area? How satisfied are you that they’ll get you where you want to go?”
4. Suggest Next Steps
Make sure to recommend a logical follow-up to this initial conversation.
“Since this is clearly a concern, let’s set up a meeting to discuss this in
more depth. Let’s also get the VP of Marketing involved right away
because it’s an issue that spans both departments.”