If you think that preparing for every buyer interaction is too time-consuming, arduous or boring, then you are probably not focusing on the right things. We have all heard this before from our sales staff: “It was a great meeting!” But, what is their basis for determining that meeting was a success? When you set your agenda and prepare for client meetings, calls or presentations, do you think about the desired outcome?
Prepare for each and every buyer interaction by focusing on the outcome. Think through your best-case outcome and your minimum outcome to determine if that meeting was truly successful. If your best-case outcome is attained, then it was a great meeting. If your minimum outcome is attained, then it may not have been a great meeting, but it sure as heck was a good one.
If a best-case outcome is achieved, your great meeting would ensure that you got the most of each buyer interaction, moving you further down the buyers’ buying journey. It also ensures you are filling in the gaps of your knowledge at a particular point in your sales process. Do your outcomes look like this?
These outcomes clearly show an effort to adhere to your sales process, ensure that you understand what the buyer is trying to accomplish, and measure their level of involvement every step of the way. These outcomes let you know if you are spending your time and money in direct alignment with where executive buyers’ need your help to achieve their priority goals on their timeframe.
On the other hand, the outcomes from your buyer interactions might look like this:
See the difference is this set of outcomes? They either focus too much on what you want or are not specific enough. But each buyer interaction can easily be turned around to best-case outcomes.
For example: Rather than setting up a demo, you could identify the key stakeholders and gain agreement on setting up interviews to help you prepare for the upcoming demo. That nice lunch with the client could be used to better understand how major changes have been successfully implemented and sustained in their company. And, you could use all that time on the golf course to clearly understand the buyer’s desired return on investment or change they’re looking for to reach a specific priority goal.
Take the time to prepare and think about the results you want from every buyer interaction. Focus on each outcome relative to where you are in your sales cycle and the level of your relationship with the buyer. Use these outcomes as a way to determine if each meeting is truly a good one or a great one, based on the outcomes you set upfront. And, ensure you spend your time, money and resources where it benefits both the buyer and you, the seller.