When you walk into a sales call, do you know what you want, besides the obvious—the sale?

Sales success relies on your ability to communicate effectively with your prospects. You need to have a goal in mind. The problem is we often get in our own way by not being intentional about the outcome we want from the meeting. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we’ll share these insights into defining your sales call’s purpose.

Know Your Intent: It falls into one of two categories: “Believe” or “Do.” Depending on the situation and where you are in the client relationship, you may need your client to:

  • Believe and trust you and your value
  • Believe he or she has a problem you can help with

As you are building rapport with your prospect early in the relationship, your intent is likely to be focused on what your client believes. Your ability to move your client from believing to doing will depend on creating strong connections with your prospective clients.

Once you have a relationship with the prospect, your intent can shift to more action-oriented activities such as:

  • Schedule the next meeting to gather more information
  • Get an introduction to a decision maker
  • Gain agreement on details to be used in a proposal
  • Close the sale

In the majority of cases, your sales process requires multiple steps. At each step along the way, the more intentional you are, the faster you will move through the process.

Primary and Secondary Intents: In some situations, you may achieve two intents in one successful interaction. Consider this example about a sales rep who reports to the sales manager, Kelly. The rep had been working for weeks to set a meeting with the CEO of his prospect company. The rep had multiple meetings with a key advisor to the CEO, and in each meeting would try to “sell” his service. The rep’s call to action was to ask for a meeting with the CEO. In each meeting, the advisor found ways to delay and avoid taking any action.

When Kelly asked his rep what the primary intent of the meeting was, the rep was surprised by ther question and said, “To get to the CEO so we can close the deal.” Kelly worked with her rep to prepare for the next meeting with a new intent: To help the advisor believe that he could help the company to achieve more success.

The rep met again with the advisor, and this time was not concerned with the now secondary intent of meeting with the CEO. By concentrating on the belief of the advisor, the focus of the conversation shifted. To the rep’s surprise, the moment the advisor believed in his ability to understand the company’s needs and deliver a viable solution, he scheduled a meeting for the rep with the CEO.

Not only had the primary intent been achieved but it was a requirement in order to achieve the secondary intent. When you are clear on who you are meeting with—and your intent is clear—you will deliver a more effective message and win more sales. Start today by identifying the primary intent of each conversation or meeting, and the role of the person you are speaking with.

Source: Mark A. Vickers is a Certified Professional Coach and a Certified World Class Speaking Coach. He helps sales teams improve performance through improved presentation and speaking skills, and his creative and engaging programs and coaching are designed to help teams become more effective quickly.