How To Get Prospects To Relax On Sales Appointments
When a prospect hires you, what exactly are they purchasing? your product? your services?
Sure, but only to a degree. When a prospect hires you, they’re really purchasing certainty.
Ultimately, certainty is a combination of clarity and confidence
When a sales appointment does not conclude in making a sale, it is generally because the prospect does not feel certain about you or your program. Creating this certainty should occur at the very beginning of the sales conversation, not at the end when you’re trying to finish with a great pitch.
Now, let’s look at the second important key to nailing a powerful introduction.
MILESTONE THE MEETING
Most of your sales appointments are with prospects who do not have an idea how a dialogue such as this should go. They have never had a meeting such as this with anybody like you.
All your prospects know is they have an issue that requires fixing and that they need some help.
But in the back of their mind, there’s some hesitation. There’s some fear about what you’re going to pitch them, how expensive your program is, and whether they can trust you to get them the results they’re looking for.
If this fear is left alone, it will slowly turn into resistance over the span of the sales appointment, so that means you will need to meet it head on, in the very beginning, by milestoning the meeting.
1. LAY OUT AN AGENDA
First, you need to lay out an agenda so they know exactly how the meeting will go. Once they know what the next hour of their lives will look like, they can relax and trust the process.
The real reason they’re sitting down with you is that they have a problem and they want a solution. When you’re able to identify their issue and the results that they want, and tell them how you’ll achieve that outcome, they’ll start to breathe easy.
You will begin to see them lower their defenses a bit because they know you’re planning to take them where they want to go.
2. GIVE CONTROL
The second thing you need to do to lower their resistance is to give them control instead of taking it from them.
When you say something like:
“This is how I want this session to go. I find this very useful, but this conversation is about you and what you want, not about me and what I want. So, if you think we should talk about something else or head in a different direction, that’s completely okay with me…”
They’ll think to themselves:
Great! Now I’m in control.
Once they feel like they have total control, they’ll never feel the need to exert that control and they’ll happily follow your plan.
To give you a very clear notion of how to put all of this together, here is an illustration of milestoning the meeting. Naturally, this is not precisely how you will phrase it, but you are going to see the core fundamentals throughout.
“There’s a framework I like to use for conversations like this to make sure you walk out of here today with a really great plan. There are three things I’d love to accomplish today and right now I just want to run them by you.”
“First, I want to get really clear about what you want. Where do you want to go with your business? What’s your vision? The clearer I am about what you want, the easier it will be for both of us to make a plan to get you there. Is that okay?”
“Second, once I understand where you would like to go, we will come back to today. I would like to know what your existing reality is. What’s working? What’s not working? What have you tried? What are you frustrated with? I want to know the lay of the land and find out what we have to work with. Once I know where we are, it’s easier for me to help you build the right plan.”
“Third, once I know where you are and where you want to go, I want to learn all of the obstacles that are in the way. I want to discover what is preventing you from getting there so we are able to turn those barriers into projects and construct a strategy to get those results very quickly. Is that fine?”
“Those are the three things I think would be helpful for us to do today, but this conversation is about you, not about me, and certainly not about my three-step plan. So, if you think we should talk about this, that, or the other thing, I’m really happy to go there. Just take us wherever we need to go and I’m totally cool with that.”
99% of the time, your prospect will say, “That sounds great, let’s do it.”
We have laid out the base and given them control. You have shown them just how you want the meeting to go, which makes them more relaxed. Now they are able to lower their resistance and trust the procedure. This is how you milestone the meeting.