Question from a reader

SALES ADVICE

Q: If you don’t close the prospect on your 1st sit-down, how do you make a new appointment and close the 2nd visit? I realize you don’t like to use the word “appointment”. If the appointment was not easy to get in the 1st place and you have to go back after forwarding more information they requested.

A: This is a two part question. The first part has to do with closing on the first face-to-face call and the second has to do with proper follow up if there is no close on the first face-to-face call.

Successfully closing on the first face involves proper positioning, setting of a clear agenda and agreement about what is going to happen, what order it is going to happen, and most importantly what decisions will be made at the end of the first conversation.  This agenda must be explained and the prospect’s expectations must be managed prior to the start of the first face-to-face. Failure to do this inevitably leads to stalls, put offs and “think it over’s”. Don’t blame the prospect when they don’t understand their role and what they are supposed to do at the end of the call.

Secondly, if you find yourself on the receiving end of a stall or put off at the end of the first call you will know you have not done the above very effectively. At that point you have two choices: close the file and learn from your mistake, or start all over and do what should have been done in the first place. As far as giving more literature for them to take home and study there is really no reason for them to do that unless it is part of your new agreement. Ideally, if you have literature for them to review, it should be sent to them ahead of time so they can review it and come to the call prepared and ready to make a decision. If the literature does not serve that purpose you should not be using it at all.

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