Sales Success Starts Before The Meeting

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Sales Success Starts Before The Meeting

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As salespeople, we spend a lot of time researching, studying, planning and reaching out to generate conversations. Unfortunately, all that work can be undone in a moment when we finally get a prospect in a meeting.

We’re warriors at generating conversations, but too many of us turn into sheep when we’re finally in them.

It doesn’t have to be this way. The best salespeople apply the same amount of preparation and planning into what happens before the meeting as they do in generating the conversations. It means faster sales and the ability to be more present with the folks we’re talking to.

To learn how we can maximize our buyer conversations, we sat down with Gabe Lullo, CEO of Alleyoop, a company that’s responsible for setting almost half a million sales meetings. He lent the same insight he provides to his clients so that any salesperson can better prepare for their important conversations.

Because we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.

T-Trigger: To trigger this system, Gabe recommends not waiting until you’ve scheduled a conversation with a prospect. Instead, prepare for great conversations by ensuring you’re having conversations with the right people.

This means ensuring any conversation you schedule or meeting you step into is with a prospect that fits the profile of your ideal customer. That means researching your prospects by job title, company size and location, challenges, and goals.

The second element of the trigger is to ensure that you’ve covered your basic discovery questions before stepping into the conversation or meeting. This will ensure that you spend time discussing things you can only learn through person-to-person conversation.

R-Repeatable: To make your meeting prep repeatable, Gabe says to first review your discovery questions and ask yourself how you can go deeper in the upcoming conversation. What questions will allow you to learn how your prospect is specifically dealing with their challenges, and what success looks like individually to them? These questions, if mapped out ahead of your conversation, will allow you to immediately differentiate yourself from most salespeople.

Second, ensure you’ll have the people you need to have in the conversation. Many sales require multiple people to approve them, and it does no good for you meet with everyone individually only to have to schedule a meeting with everyone together before a decision can be made.

Third, use LinkedIn to research the folks you’ll be meeting with and look for ways you can establish rapport and trust. You can also learn a lot about how long they’ve been in the current position and their experience.

Fourth, identify the needs that your product and service solves/has solved for prospects like this in the past. If you don’t have any examples from your client roster, ask your teammates if they do. That way, you’ll have some ready-made examples of how what you sell has helped similar people and organizations reach their goals.

I-Improvable: To improve this system, Gabe recommends reviewing your calls and debriefing on whether you achieved the objectives you had from your meetings. Because you’ve put the time in to develop clear questions and examples, you can improve how many you’re able to use in your meetings and which ones resonate most with your prospects.

M-Measurable: To measure the success of this system, Gabe says to measure where in past calls the conversation ‘went cold’ or the prospect’s interest waned. That will reveal how engaging (or disengaging) you were on the call and give you a goal to surpass on future calls.

Making the most of your meetings and conversations doesn’t mean winging it – put the same effort into what you do before the call and you’ll quickly be selling, and serving, more!

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