Archives for Oct,2015

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5 great things to say at the start of meetings with prospective clients

You’ve only ever got one chance to make a first impression (weird, huh). It doesn’t matter whether you’re going on a date, meeting the future in-laws, going for a job interview or meeting with a potential client for the first time – what you do and say in those first couple of minutes is absolutely critical.

Science tells us that it’s the non-verbals that have the most impact on first impressions (so smile, stand up straight and lean in when you talk), but what comes out of your mouth is next in the first impressions firing line so you’d better make it good. When meeting with a potential client, it’s the first fork in the road where your options are to either become a trusted advisor or a commoditised salesperson.

This is not to say you can’t recover from a bad beginning – you can, but you’ll have to work even harder as you’ve already undermined some trust. When I first met Kathryn (my Marketing Director, but she used to be my client) I was inadve [...]

Do you have a habit of doing this in your conversations? If so, you need to stop.

Image by NBC News via Google Images

A lot of people have a bad habit of doing something in conversations that they’re not even conscious of doing, but usually results in the other person walking away feeling frustrated or annoyed. And I’m not just talking about sales conversations with clients or potential buyers, but business conversations with work mates and colleagues, and personal conversations with friends and family.

I’m sure none of you will be surprised by it, and yet chances are many of you still do it. In fact, many of you will do it in the very next conversation you have.

It’s a habit that I call [...]

What to do when you’re asked for a capability statement.

You’re in a meeting with a current or prospective client, and you think it’s going pretty well. You get to the end of the meeting and just as you’re thinking about how best to wrap it up, the other person says ‘Can you just send me a capability statement?’ (or a brochure or something along those lines).

Nearly all people who are responsible for sales in B2B environments still think this is a good sign. They think ‘YES! They want to find out all about me and my product as they obviously want to buy’. Unfortunately, in the majority of cases this is simply not true. Your response should actually be ‘UGH!’ because it’s usually just an easy way to try and get rid of you, and most likely means you haven’t had a great meeting. Think of how often you do this yourself when someone calls you trying to sell you something. How many times have you asked them to ‘send you some details’ so you can get them off the phone?

The principle is exactly the same, ex [...]