When you prepare for a meeting with a Prospect, several things go through your head. How will you start the meeting? What do you know about the company, and what information is still missing? What role does the person you will meet play in making decisions and driving things forward? And why do they want to meet with you anyway?
Instead of being concerned with information you do not know as yet, turn things upside down for a moment. What do you think is going through your Prospect’s head? Here are a few thoughts:
- I said yes to this meeting, but the timing is a little bit inconvenient, and I do not have much time. Let’s see if this Salesperson has something insightful to share; otherwise, I will cut the meeting short
- I hope this Salesperson is not going to ask me loads of questions. I hope they have done their homework and they make the meeting interesting.
- We are actually quite content with the current supplier. Still, it’s always good to check what is out there in the market.
These first moments
You want to ensure that the stakeholder’s perception of you is spot on when the meeting starts. You not only want to meet their expectation, but you also want to exceed it. So, it makes sense to be prepared with the Buyer’s Perspective rather than the Seller’s Perspective. This mindset is important.
The question you should ask yourself is: How can you come across, in those first few minutes, as a credible salesperson, someone who has prepared well for this meeting, someone who understands the company’s situation and challenges? But also as someone who doesn’t push their own agenda but the customer’s agenda.
First of all, there are no tricks, no magic wand, or even a script that would be guaranteed to earn you that credibility. So, what is it then?
Go back to a time when you went on a date. Who do you think your date would find more interesting? The one who is doing all the talking about him/herself? Or the one who is doing more active listening and is interested in the other person? In Prospecting, it is not much different; You are interested in their story and want to know their perspective before sharing yours.
It’s all in the mindset. The more you prepare your meeting from the Buyer’s Perspective, the more credibility you will earn in those first few moments and during the meeting throughout. This means:
- You understand what the company does and is trying to achieve as a business.
- You have acquainted yourself with who you are going to meet. You did a quick glance at their LinkedIn profile, and you know where they are in their buying process.
- Prospects are nearly always in Why (should I) Change? Your objective is to influence them to consider a change. Prepare as such.
- You are not looking for pain points about the current supplier; instead, you develop relevant ideas and a different perspective to help the company with its objectives.
- You have information to share connected to their challenge and can help them with what they have set out to gain as a business.
- You have stories ready to share of other similar customers you have helped.
Hold you horses
You are in Sales, so when it comes to selling solutions, your stakeholder expects you to know why your company is the best. But they are not interested in that at all, at least not at the beginning of your meeting. So, you got to hold your horses. In Buying process terms: Stay as long as possible in Why Change? and Change to What? – once the buying room has a consensus that a change is needed and agree on a new solution, then you can open the gate and let your horses out.
Give your 100%
Selling with the buyer’s perspective means you are really in your stakeholder’s world. And your focus is 100% on how you can help them grow their business. Selling is helping. Your mindset is nowhere else. Mindset matters more… than anything else.