|First Meeting Mistake 1: You Talk Too Much|
Everyone knows this. Everyone has been taught in early sales training to watch out for it, but everyone still does it.
You’ve heard the line from sales training that says, “You’ve got two ears and one mouth, use them in that proportion”.
If you’ve had any formal sales training another first principle you may have learned is, “If you say it the prospect can disbelieve you, but if they say it, it’s true.” So one of the basic skills of selling anything, is to control the meeting with questions.
The person asking the questions is in charge of the meeting. When you open with something like “What brought you in to see me today?” you are in charge. However, if the client then asks, “Before we get started can you tell me how you charge?” (a perfectly reasonable question) – who is in charge now? They are.
At this point in the meeting you don’t want to be answering client questions because you will be doing all the talking – you’ll get a chance to talk later. So the best response is to simply take back control by deferring and asking them another question. For example, “By the end of our meeting today I will let you know exactly how much the work will cost and exactly how long it will take, but first I just need to understand a little more about your issue. Would you mind if I asked you a couple of questions first?” Most clients will accept this, and now who’s back in control of the meeting?
Telling is not selling
Many advisers are always on the lookout for the killer sentences they can say to clients to explain why they are worth paying a fee to, but those sentences don’t really exist. Rather than telling the client about your qualifications, experience, technical skills, investment process and so on, it would be better to have them tell you what is important. With a sensibly designed proposition you will find that, for most clients, you meet all of their criteria.
Remember, “If you say it the prospect can disbelieve you, but if they say it, it’s true”.
So ask some better open questions, for example:
What value can I add?
What does good look like as an outcome here?
Is there anything we can’t do?
What are the implications of doing nothing?
What have you thought of already?
What concerns do you have about resolving this issue?
How will you measure our performance?
These types of questions will elicit many of the things you are dying to “tell” your prospect or client. Type “open questions” into Google for loads more.