You know that exciting sales meeting you spent months getting? The one where you were supposed to close multiple five or six figures? After all, didn’t you just spend your own dime flying in your whole team for it? Well, the buyer disappeared on you. The sheer numbers of the problem of Dead End Sales Meetings revealed by research done by Altify is mind-boggling (and a little depressing). In fact, most business owners I meet lament the same thing–where did that hot prospect disappear to? These figures are even scarier when you think about the fact that first time meetings cost 70% more than a follow up meeting. So why is this happening?
You Haven’t Reached The Decision Maker
Chew on this piece of data: from the buyer’s viewpoint, only 38 percent believe that sellers get to the decision makers most of the time. My clients and I actually run into this all the time. They are either too afraid to ask for who the real decision maker is in the purchase process (for fear of alienating their contact) or they are too excited to get the meeting so they jump into it without understanding the company’s decision tree. Instead, I train my clients to throughly question, research and understand the buying structure and responsibilities in the prospect BEFORE the first meeting.
You Don’t Offer Sufficient Value
Altify research shows that buyers believe that only 49 percent of the meetings with sellers are valuable, while the sellers believe they bring value much more often (70%). That’s because most suppliers haven’t done the due diligence to understand what pain point they are an extreme expert in and how they can help the prospect. The way we get around that thorny issue is to position our customers who are selling to businesses as experts in a certain industry and pain point. That way, the value we offer is unprecedented, deep knowledge and expertise about a very specific problem.
You Have A Canned Approach
Stop telling, start selling is a motto I once heard somewhere and it certainly applies to these Dead End Sales Meetings. My clients and I use the ‘coach approach’ asking and co-creating solutions in a fact finding meeting with the prospect. We don’t talk about ourselves. We don’t prescribe unless it’s in context to the prospect’s pain at hand.
So if you want to get to the second date with your next prospect, get clear on your value and their pain. Then make sure to ask the right people the right questions to have key decision makers in the room. Lastly, close the deal quickly by getting agreements throughout the process and next steps before you leave that room.