The two greatest problems facing all small business are;

  • How do I get more qualified leads?
  • How do I convert more of those leads into customers?

Focusing on the second issue, if you have got that vital first meeting, you should really be in with a very strong chance of closing it. You will need to have 3 to 5 power questions prepared in advance,

So why do so many business owners and sales people alike, have problems securing the deal with a hot prospect. This article helps you unlock your magic code, to securing far more business at sales meetings.

The human brain has difficulty seeing more than 3 things at any one time. In fact to see 5 objects, we actually process that as a 2 and a 3. It is the same when we hear, see or do things.

So we break meetings into 3 precise parts. You might remember being told in school, that when you write a story, it should have a clear beginning, middle and end. Your sales call is no different, though what you do in each of those 3 parts is vital.

The first part of the sales call – the opening

Smile! This is so essential, if you don’t smile, you might as well not turn up! Then in your most honest, open and gracious way thank your host for taking the time to see you.

Next ask how much time they have allocated to spend with you. Write it down and make a note of what time, 15 minutes from the end will be. Because that is when you finish the second part of the call and move onto the all important 3rd section of the call.

The second part of the sales call – Power questioning

So what is a power question? I define it as a question which you ask your prospect about their business, that uncovers a need or desire that your offering can fulfill.

You will need to have 3 to 5 power questions prepared in advance, and you will use the questions as jump points, to lead your prospect or buyer along, with a series of questions.

Say you were selling a drill. Some power questions would be as follows.

  • What do you need to make holes for?
  • Where will you be drilling the holes?

Say, the prospect had told you that he wanted to put up a shelf, against a concrete wall.

You could then ask him;

  • Would you be putting up a lot of shelves?
  • What sort of things would be on the shelves?
  • Have you any price in mind?

Now and only now do you have enough information to show him a drill, since you now have an idea of what sort of drill would suit him.

The third part of the sales call – the close

Some sales, the close will mean an actual sale, in many however it will require a follow-up action or call.

It is key however to start this process, with 15 minutes to go. Start by summarizing all of his issues, what he wants, what solving his problems will do for them, etc. Basically regurgitate all that you have learned about his business.

Confirm that they do want to own your offering. Check with them, as to how they would value your product or service.

Agree any actions required on both parts. This might be that you will go and write a draft proposal, they will read it, and you will meet again to discuss it and move forward.

Seems simple enough – guess what, most people assume the other person will have time to read your proposal, ask if they do and ask that they promise they will schedule it in.

Finally SET A DIARY APPOINTMENT for the follow up call, which could be a phone call, but ensure that it, is in the other person’s diary!

Just try it; you will be amazed at the results.

Think you can manage that on your own, if you need more help, maybe you would like some sales coaching or mentoring, we can run sessions specifically tailored around your needs, desires, time and budgets.

This article was written by Peter Lawless, founder of 3R Sales and Marketing – For previous articles like this, visit 3R’s Articles. Alternatively, subscribe to Success our free monthly Information Bulletin with sales and marketing articles.