Common mistakes to avoid in sales meetings

If you’ve worked hard to get a face-to-face meeting with a key sales prospect, you want to give yourself the best chance of a positive outcome.  Avoiding these common mistakes will help you do this:

Spending too long on the preliminaries.  You’re more likely to build rapport by concentrating on business concerns, not that you both play golf.  So, at the outset, confirm the purpose of the meeting.  Then check the time of the prospect’s next activity – this will allow you to make sure that all your objectives get covered (I’ve been to many a salesperson’s meeting where time has run out before the key objectives have been addressed).

Talking too much.  The old adage that you have 2 ears and 1 mouth for good reason is especially true in selling.  Your ratio of listening to talking should be just that; 2:1.

Allied to talking too much is interrupting.  This trait can be irritating to the point of being fatal in building rapport and credibility.  Make a quick note of the keywords you want to say but let them finish – then respond whilst referring to your note.

Believing your logic will always be persuasive.  Recognise that being technically right about something may not on its own be sufficiently compelling.  Why?  Because emotional buying needs can outweigh such logic – this can be frustrating but just accept it, address it as best you can and move on to the next prospect need.

And lastly, don’t finish the call without getting some commitment from the prospect.  This must be some form of action – and “we’ll be in touch” doesn’t come under this heading!

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