Introductory Appointments: Your Goal is Meeting Number Two

Posted by Mike Farrell

Which of the following is a good sales outcome for introductory appointments?

  • Proposal: The prospect let you pitch him for 30 minutes, told you to send a proposal and CC his director, who handles these types of projects.
  • 2nd Meeting: The prospect discussed her business issues with you, you asked good questions, you shared some anecdotal stories about how some of your clients have similar issues, and she asked for a second meeting.
I know a ton of salespeople that would put the first outcome in the success category.  You got a pipeline opportunity, right?  A proposal?
Successful business people handshaking closing a deal-1
WRONG!  You got a brushoff, a more sophisticated variation of saying "send me a datasheet."  He was just letting you down easy.  What he really said was, "Here's enough hope to keep you busy for a week or two and then you can go away."  You may have pitched them, but did they hear anything?  Was any of it relevant or bring value to them?
The second scenario is far more successful.  The next stage in the sales cycle has started.  She shared her real issues with you.  You shared some value.  She wants to continue the conversation.  That's how prospects buy today.
Make the goal of introductory appointments threefold:
  • Show professionalism and value by having a conversation and asking questions
  • Educate the prospect just enough to get a second meeting
  • Make the second meeting follow your agenda and then satisfy theirs
It's all about the second meeting.