Converting first appointments to second appointments

Less than 50% of people manage to secure that all-important second meeting with their prospects, so what can we do about this?

This is all about following the steps of the sales process and the one that may people forget is the first Pre- Call (or meeting) planning, and failing to do this gives rise to that good old adage of “Failing to plan is planning to fail”!

So, before you do anything plan your first meeting carefully and that includes planning for a second meeting!  Research your prospect well and learn all you can about them so that so are well equipped to understand their business and identify their needs so it is important that once you have allocated time to introductions and setting the scene you dedicate this planned time to identifying needs which links perfectly to the next crucial step which is all about Fact Finding.

If you have planned your first meeting well, you are pre-empting any questions they may have and identifying any reasons why they may hesitate or feel your product or service may not fit entirely with their needs. Go to first meetings with your precise objectives firmly in your mind, knowing that it is going to be highly likely you will need to secure a second meeting to present fully a refined offer that does meet the needs of your prospect and close your sale; but in order to do this successfully you must ensure you have all the information you need.

Gaining second meetings needs to be part of the plan; they are the platforms upon which you can present, so do not waste the opportunity of presenting a really good delivery of your offering by trying to cram too much into your first performance!

The Fact Finding step is that part of a sales meeting when you gather all the information you can to enable you to identify clearly the needs of your prospect so you can prepare an offering which presents clear solutions to meet these needs. If you have not done the Fact Finding correctly you will be lacking in the specific information about your prospect which tells you what is really important to them, what their goals or objectives are, and in short how your products and services fit.  Without this information you are restricting your journey with your prospect and reducing your chances of success, you are also much less likely to be able to secure that second and essential meeting.

None of us can afford the time in presenting solutions which do not match the real requirements of our prospects so fact finding is essential and for this you are certainly going to need those questioning techniques to be refined and your ears on peak listening mode! The time you spend listening in your first meeting should hugely exceed the time you spend talking; remember the 2 ears and 1 mouth scenario?  So, make sure 70-80% of the time is spent listening to your prospect. Processing the information gathered allows you to understand how you can meet the needs of the prospect in a bespoke manner and can also be used to create the need for a second meeting.

Great communication skills are of paramount importance – it is about building rapport and engendering trust with your potential customer; People buy people remember!

Sop look at first meetings as your foundation work, and opportunities to ensure you clearly identify their needs; and establish the reasons you need for gaining commitment and book the second meetings you need to secure.

Gaining that second meeting provides the opportunity to do this and is also the best way of really identifying what is important to your prospect, which then enables you to prepare that winning solution.

If you have an accountant, they should be your first stop for business advice. If you don’t have an accountant or they can’t help, BuBul has a wide range of experts available. For more advice contact our expert* Helen on LinkedIn.

*We’ve picked experts we know and trust who are good at what they do. All of them will give you at least an extra 30 minutes free advice if you contact them and would then charge their normal prices. They don’t pay to be on BuBul and don’t give us any money from anything they earn as an expert.