Do you ever feel like you could win far more business if you could just find a way to get in front of more of the business people you want to connect with?
You may have experienced challenges getting time with your ideal prospects for first meetings or even initial ‘Strategy Calls’.
If you’ve felt frustrated, confused or ‘dead in the water’ and don’t know what to do to create high quality first meetings with your ideal prospects then relax, there is a solution.
If whatever you’ve tried in the past has left you feeling confused and overwhelmed, I’m going to solve that for you right now.
Simply by showing you a little known concept that’ll allow you to dictate the number of high quality first meetings you want with your dream prospects each and every month.
This blog post will hand you that solution on a plate.
You see, this post is dramatically different to others you may have read because it covers a unique way of creating value for your best prospects, that literally compels them to want to meet you.
I hope to to clear all of your confusion and overwhelm and show you just how simple it really is to create a predictable business where your new client pipeline is always full.
Your prospects are busy, time short, task overloaded and simply don’t have time to waste. Therefore, getting a time slot in their diary to show you add massive value to them is extremely difficult.
Before you read the rest of this blog post stop and ask yourself this question:
Q: What value do you contribute on your first engagement with a prospect?
When I ask my clients what value their prospects get from their first engagement, the answer, after a long pause and much head scratching, is generally something like:
“Well, none really. I have to ask them these questions to be able to qualify them, or to prepare a proposal or more in-depth demonstration.”
If your goal at this very early stage of the sales cycle is to set a first meeting, whether physical or virtual, you should treat it very much like a product you can sell.
It’s actually quite simple.
You, like me, have a goal which is to make it easy for your prospect to say yes to you.
To make it so easy to say yes, so your prospects are almost compelled to agree because it just ‘makes sense’ to say yes.
Therefore, to effectively ‘SELL’ the value of engaging with you, you have to ensure you have created enough PERCEIVED value that can be articulated as to why someone should invest 20 or 30 minutes of their time with you.
Without value why would anyone, apart from those really desperate for a solution and information hunters, agree to it?
By the time you’ve read the complete blog post you’ll have an entirely different perspective on how to create value for prospects.
If you can communicate value to the 20- 30 minutes (or however long) of your first meeting, then your conversion rates will go through the roof.
You, or your prospecting staff (in house or outsourced) will be capable of articulating precisely what value someone will receive in that first conversation with you.
And the prospect will have no other option other than to see that it just “makes sense!” to book a time in to meet you.
And just like that, you’ve created an irresistible offer to your prospect!
Before you read on to the meeting productization concept there are some myths about selling and sales processes you must be clear on, before you can truly harness the massive rewards in new business available to you.
There is a growing body of writing and ‘opinion’ that you can sell without selling.
What this is doing is praying on your natural fear and hesitation about making contact with people. But what they aren’t telling you is selling is the only thing that leads to action. And it’s action that you want your prospects to take.
Anything other than selling is telling… and telling just conveys information.
Only selling leads to action.
Telling does NOT get results, and if you have kids you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
If you have challenges around ‘selling’ then that’s your mental stuff that’s being prayed upon.
Selling leads to ACTION.
If your current thinking is:
“our clients buy our services because they recognize our expertise”…
…then you’ll have zero business unless you embrace the fact that selling is not sleazy or pushy – it’s the only thing that’ll lead to other people taking an action.
Too many sales models assume your prospect will welcome you with open arms and talk freely with you which is naive at best.
Your prospect must be willing to discuss and carefully look at their needs with you.
Unless they’re willing and ready to interact with you in such an open way, the consultative sales process can not take place.
As you’ve experienced, this very rarely happens on the first meeting with cold prospects.
i.e. Ones you’ve made contact with who have NOT sought you out.
Before you can identify their needs by asking lots of great consultative questions, you must first create an atmosphere of trust that invites discussion and an exchange of ideas.
Most prospects won’t just open themselves and their business up to you.
They won’t share their needs.
And they certainly won’t be forthcoming with their frustrations and goals.
Before you address needs you must first sell yourself.
And with consulting, this very often means selling your expertise.
If you’re attempting to begin a needs based conversation and involve the prospect before they are ready, you’re actually creating the very thing you fear the most – resistance and rejection.
I’m sure you’ve heard this many times.
However, what people haven’t told you is when you’re looking to create first meetings, this concept can mistakenly lead you to again create the resistance and rejection.
You’re likely to be begging to talk to your prospect about:
And many more client based ‘outcomes’…
BUT these all increase the likelyhood of rejection because the only thing the prospect cares about is the outcome of the meeting itself.
Talking about becoming a client will reduce your chances of getting a first meeting dramatically.
The answer is to focus on the outcome of the meeting using my unique ‘meeting productization concept’.
This strategy involves taking a largely intangible, hard to define meeting, that may or may not be adding value…
…IN THE PROSPECTS MINDS NOT YOURS…
and turn it into a tangible value creating ‘product’ that they understand, just ‘GET’ and ads value to them.
If your prospects are senior business people like CEO’s and VPS, you’ll get great success in creating value in the first meeting if you know exactly what value they are seeking.
A research project by the Rain Group shows senior executives ranked sales people as winners when they ‘educated me with new ideas or perspectives’.
This is no surprise to me.
A major research piece by Kenan Flagler Business School and IBM, into selling to senior executives, showed they spent most of their time at the beginning 3 phases of company purchase decisions:
“Because senior executives are concerned with their organisation’s business needs they are most likely to meet someone early in a sales cycle to assess the potential business value of the proposed sale. To gain a spot on our respondent’s calendars, salespeople must show that a meeting will provide valuable information”
After these 3 phases of a buying cycle, executives pass decisions over to a more traditional Decision Making Unit and step out of the process, only to come back to rubber sign the developed solution.
So what can we do with this knowledge?
Here’s an example:
A client in the technology industry was struggling to get first meetings with IT directors of UK top-500 accounts.
They decided to commission a wide-ranging research piece into the effect of technology and how it would impact their target prospects.
They cleverly made it about a level above their technology, so it wasn’t seen to be promotional and too narrowly focused.
They then got the independent research company to sell that research on their website for £2,000 even though they never expected to sell any that way.
That wasn’t why it was designed…
When they were communicating the value of having a first meeting with them they were able to lead with:
Our consultant will also bring with him 5 copies of [independent research companies] whitepaper on ‘The emerging technology trends in the xxxx industry and how market-leading organisations should be gearing up to leverage them for competitive advantage’, which is currently on sale for £2,000 on their website. If you gain nothing else from the meeting, which is unlikely, then as a minimum, Steve will leave you with £10,000 worth of research to distribute in the company.
Did this approach work?
Their conversion rate went from around 1 in 15 calls closing for a meeting to around 8 out of 10.
This is just 1 of 5 different strategies I cover to help clients productize their first engagement.
While you read the rest of the blog to get an insight into these 5 strategies it’s important to know that there’s a next step in our relationship, which is to register for my webinar where I go into these strategies in much more detail.
So let’s get in to it…
Senior business people are isolated. They probably know more about you and your competitors than you do, but they lack insights into business issues and the competitive landscape.
What strategic value can you create in the meeting that’ll educate on new ideas and perspectives?
What research do you have or can be created by you or others to achieve this result?
Create a strategic plan for them based on what you know about the Industry and your expertise.
Break it out into short and long range business objectives, and make assumptions based on your expertise.
That’s powerful because you can discuss these assumptions as a way of building trust with your prospect, and it’ll help them open up to you about their needs.
Walk them through a number of detailed checklists, worksheets and implementation plans that they can distribute internally and can be actioned by their staff.
Base these on your expertise and experience with similar companies, and best of all, the results you’ve achieved with past clients.
An example I might use could be:
John, I worked with Big Corp (their competitor) where I designed a sales system that increased their first prospect meeting from 4 to 20 per month, which resulted in an extra $200k closed business per month. I’ve documented that exact same process with all of the value creation procedures, the technology guides, the templates, the scripts and the detailed implementation plans. I’d be happy to run through those with you and leave you the full set at the end of our meeting. You should easily be able to take those and add an extra $100k per month by yourself within 60 days.
I think 8 out of 10 targeted prospects would agree to that. Don’t you think?
The thing about large consulting projects is they can be largely intangible.
You may struggle to ‘sell’ the idea of what you’ll achieve when someone becomes a client, BUT you have a fantastic process to take care of them when they become a client.
How can you take that first bit of consulting work you usually do with them when they become a client, and offer it as a way of adding tangible value to the first meeting?
In some industries ‘lunch and learn’ or ‘Executive Briefings’ have been common place.
The challenge is they’ve been grossly misused and badly implemented.
When done right they’re a fantastic way to productize a first meeting and add tangible value to your prospect.
I’m also beginning to experiment using a ‘webinar‘ based session as the first meeting product.
How can you take this concept and structure it to OVER-deliver value in your first meeting?
…because the promise of real value they’ll get from the time they spend with you makes it easy to say yes to.
Just imagine the control you’d have over your business when you can use these concepts to easily create a first meeting with anybody you want to…
…without sleazy sales tactics or cold calling.
And if you want to know more about exactly how to make this work in your business as well as a detailed walk through of our 6 step prospecting system then I suggest strongly that you register for my Advanced Prospecting Webinar.
This breaks down the solution to finding exactly how you can create a predictable pipeline of high quality leads without cold calling, sleazy sales tactics, or causing overwhelm by trying to make inbound ‘attraction marketing’ work for you.
I know, maybe, you don’t trust me yet.
I know that.
I don’t expect you to trust me until after you register and attend my webinar…
…where I’ll be ‘productizing my first meeting’ with you where I promise to give you an over delivery of value.
Just click the link below and enter your name and details.