Try These Steps for a Winning Sales Meeting

Michele Warg
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There are two main statistics you need to know about converting leads into actual sales. Only a paltry 0.78 percent of B2B leads become sales, and sales revenue is won or lost within the first 13 minutes of a sales meeting. How your company handles both of these metrics can help you measure your sales team's chance of success or failure.

These two statistics illustrate that first impressions are very important. Do your salespeople have the tools they need to answer a B2B customer's most important questions within the first 13 minutes of a sales meeting? Can your team think on the fly enough to solve your potential clients' problems? These five steps win the day more often than not.

1. Become Less Unlikable Rather Than Likable

This may sound confusing, but your potential customers don't have to like you to buy from you. Instead of trying to be likable, simply focus on making sure your B2B prospect doesn't dislike you. Don't pretend you are friends with the person on the other end of the phone because doing so implies a false, fake relationship that simply doesn't exist.

2. Ask Questions You Actually Want Answered

Instead of trying to solve the potential client's problems in just a short sales meeting, engage with the potential client. Research the company's industry, sales outlook and future prospects for growth. Then, challenge what the company knows. This is where your soft skills come into play. Discuss something that the prospect my not realize. Ask whether or not your prospect knows a particular fact, and then back up your assertion.

3. Remain True to Yourself

Stay true to your personality to come across as more genuine during your first sales meeting. If you're too busy trying to put on a persona for the other side, you might become distracted or turn the prospect off. Whether your personality denotes a shark chomping on every opportunity or an owl who watches and waits to pounce, be true to yourself.

4. Don't Try to Persuade

When you sense you're possibly losing the prospect in a sales meeting, don't try to persuade the person to get him back on track. Throw the person for a loop by noting, "It doesn't seem as if you're interested. Am I reading that correctly?" Trying too hard to persuade might come off as desperate or unprofessional.

5. Keep It Simple

Business people want to get to the point. You already know the complexities of your product or service, but prospects want to get to the bottom of what you offer sooner rather than later. If you can't bottom line what you have in a few minutes, you've already lost the sale before your pitch even starts.

The first few minutes of each sales meeting can determine the success of your sales career. When you develop a strategy that works to convert more leads to sales within those minutes, your metrics will rise above the 0.78 percent mark and into elite status.

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