I teach people how to up their game in sales. Sometimes it a simple tweak here and there. Sometimes a complete overhaul and sometimes it a little mental jiujitsu. Whatever your goal, these tips will up your professionalism, increase your credibility and give your relationships a solid start.
The client who agrees to meet with you will expect you know something about their business. The business website, Google, Linkedin, Glassdoor, Bloomberg, and other sites are a great way to develop some insight into their business challenges, unique value, competitors, innovation, and more. Having a baseline for their business environment will establish your credibility in the client's world.
If you ask for a meeting, discuss dates and times and don't send a calendar invite you will lose points for professionalism. Before closing the conversation ask the prospect if they would like to receive a calendar invite. This business etiquette allows the meeting to get on everyone's calendar and make the attendees less likely to cancel or the meeting to be forgotten. Maybe you have heard the saying; if it isn't on the calendar, it didn't happen.
Do you send an informal agenda of the topics you would like to discuss during the meeting? I create one with discussion points I would like to talk about and ask the prospect if there is anything they would like to add. This lays the foundation for the direction of the meeting and allows the client to invite the right people to be present. It also puts the ball in your court to lead the meeting and distinguishes you from 95% of your competitors who do not send an agenda.
Explain your Why
How will you build rapport? Explaining your why is a great way to build rapport and trust. The types of trust desirable are professional, personal, and reliability. I call them the big three. Client testimonials are one way to establish professional trust. Personal trust can be fostered by explaining your why. Why are you here today? Shared values are a great way to build trust. Maybe you both have kids in college, a baby on the way or you believe in helping your customers and have a passion for what you sell. Whatever your why, they have a why as well. If you share yours, they will most likely share there's as well. This sharing will build a deep sense of rapport to start the business relationship. The third type of trust; reliability is a way to show the prospect you will follow through with what you say; when you say you will. Stories of how you have helped others is a great way to show you can be relied upon.
Confirm the Appointment
Some salespeople are afraid to confirm an appointment because they fear the client will cancel. If they cancel and don't reschedule they probably were not going to buy anyway. Confirming the date 24 hours in advance shows you are a professional. It ups your professional game and shows the client you are not a pushy salesperson and you are confident in your offering. This is also the best use of everyone's time. Have you ever sat in the waiting area for thirty minutes only to be told you will need to reschedule? Use calendar reminders as well to ensure they remember the commitment to meet.
If you send the invite, set an informal agenda, confirm the appointment, do research, and establish your why you will be off to a solid start in building a relationship that fosters trust, professionalism, and reliability.
Good Luck can be found at the intersection of hard work and perseverance.