During a first meeting with a prospect if all goes well, and you follow the process we’ve outlined in these articles, you will learn a lot of information that is important to your prospect and his/her company. At various points throughout this discussion you should summarize the key points as they relate to the company’s goals, challenges, needs from a supplier. We recommend that you say something like, “If it’s okay with you, I’d just like to pause for a minute to summarize what I’m hearing from you.” It may be at these times during the meeting:
- when you feel you are learning a lot of valuable information that you need to confirm with the client;
- when you feel lost in the details and need to “press pause” to make sure that you’ve understood everything correctly; and
- at a time that you feel that you have all of the information you need to move to the next step.
As you take notes, put a star next to anything that you feel is key to the discussion, and then simply go back to each of your stars and review that point. It should include these key issues:
- The customer’s top goals;
- The challenges the organization faces; and
- The things they are looking for in working with a supplier.
Check each of these items with the customer to ensure you are on track. It might sound like this:
So, if it’s OK with you I’d like to just pause for a minute to summarize what we’ve discussed. You said that A, B, C and D are important. Is that correct? How would you prioritize these issues in importance for you? So ONE year from now you’d say that D is the goal you’d most like to accomplish?
It’s a small step but one that gives your prospect a moment to reflect, and ensure that you’ve understood them clearly. When you do this, you often find that they will correct you or clarify something you’ve said.
In our next article we will finally discuss the opportunity you now have to talk about your products or services, but not in the way you might think! Stay tuned…and let us know if we can help you to increase your sales and hit your target! Linda@TheKernGroupInc.com or 416-520-4897.