On this episode, Paul shares tips to get you back in front of the customer.
A trigger event causes the buyer to be more open to your solution.
Reference something new you can bring to the table.
Talk to your internal champions and conduct a ….
“The more informed you are, the more insight you can deliver to your customers.”
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How do I get additional meetings (even when the customer doesn’t want to meet)?
(Transcribed from podcast)
On a recent virtual coaching session, I was working with a group of salespeople and a great question came up. The question was, “Paul, how do I get back in to see a customer after we’ve already met a couple of times?” And the salesperson went on to explain, “You know, sometimes we have that initial meeting, or we have a couple of meetings and everything goes great. But after a while, we’ve got to find a new reason to get back in front of the customer, to get back to see them.” That’s what they’re curious about is how do you do that? So we’re going to focus on that in today’s show. How do you get additional appointments after you’ve already met with the customer a couple of times?
Before we get into that, a quick shout-out to Andrea over at The Creative Impostor Studios. Andrea does a great job on the podcast. If you need editing services, if you need help launching your podcast, if you need someone to help coach you through the process and even help set up your tech and all that good stuff, reach out to Andrea. She does a great job. We’re going to have a link to her website on this episode’s webpage. So check it out.
Also pick up your latest copy of Value-Added Selling. It’s available on Amazon. This is your go-to guide. I mean, Value-Added Selling is going to help you sell more profitably. The book is filled with insights, ideas, and also a process—a process to guide your efforts. So pick up your copy of Value-Added Selling.
Let’s get back to that question: How do you get additional meetings once you’ve already met with the customer a couple of times? That’s what we’re going to focus on.
Here’s a couple of tips. Number one, we’ve got to reference a trigger event. Trigger event is anything that would cause the buyer to be more open to your solution. Let’s say a customer was awarded a new project. Boom. That’s a trigger event that creates a need. There’s something top of mind; there’s something they may need as a result of winning that new project. Let’s say their industry is facing new regulations that will impact their performance, their profitability. That could be a trigger event. You might not necessarily solve the problem that they face from those regulations, but that creates an opportunity for you to help them in a different way, in a new way.
Trigger events open up the buyer’s mind and increases their willingness to meet with you. I’ll give you an example. From this same call, actually, another salesperson shared an example of how they were able to get back in and meet with a customer. One of their customers manufactures parts in the automotive industry. And the salesperson read an article. And many of you have seen this article. I think it was General Motors maybe that said that by a certain date, by a certain year, they’re going to go all electric on their vehicles.
Well, that salesperson used that article as a trigger event to prompt a meeting. And he reached out to his customer and here’s the basic conversation. “You manufacture parts for combustible engines that go into cars. Seeing an article like this, how is that going to impact your business moving forward?” Using that trigger event, he was able to create a meeting and also create some value and deliver some insights to his customer. That was able to help him get that meeting. So reference a trigger event.
When you’re trying to get in to see an existing customer you’ve met with a couple of times, reference something new. Sales organizations are always developing new products, new ideas, new services that they offer their customers. So create a list of what’s new with your company. And it could be new products, new services. It could even be new research that your company is conducting. Whatever it might be, reference something new in your message requests. When it’s something new, it piques the buyer’s interest. It’s going to open them up a little bit. So reference something new.
Next thing you want to do, tip number three, consider a problem-solving audit—A PSA. This problem-solving audit is about identifying potential problems that your customer could be experiencing. You don’t have to call it a problem-solving, audit. That’s what I call it. All you’re doing with this is you’re reaching out to a customer and you’re letting them know, “Hey, why don’t I do a little research within your company, talk to some people, maybe observe, maybe share a couple of thoughts. But the whole reason I’m doing this is to uncover some of those hidden problems that you may be experiencing. And once I do that, I’m going to share some insights with you. I’m going to share some ways that we can solve those problems together.”
Now, whether you need to gain permission or not to do this, that’s up to you. You know, your customer better than I do. But here’s how I would approach it. I would talk to some of my internal champions, some of the other influencers in the decision-making process. These could be people that are using your product, that are turning the wrench, they’re maintaining it, they’re specifying it. Whoever it might be, talk to a broad group of decision makers and identify some of the common problems that they’re experiencing.
Once you identify those problems, work on some ways to solve those problems and then share that insight with the ultimate decision maker. It could be the business owner, the VP, whoever it is, but this will give you an opportunity to get back in front of that ultimate decision maker. You’re identifying problems and then sharing ways that you can solve that problem. So consider that problem-solving audit.
And final tip of the day: stay informed. As a value-added salesperson, you need to be informed about your customer’s business, about their industry and what’s going on in the business world in general. I’d recommend, read the newspaper daily and, I know this might sound a little obvious, but think about all the information that you can process. Scan the headlines; find articles that are relevant to your customer’s business or their industry. And you want to stay in tune as to what’s going on. And the more informed you are, the more insight you can deliver to your customers, the more something’s going to click. You’re going to find an article; you’re going to find something that’s going to give you a lead-in to go and meet with that customer once again. So stay informed. Watch the news, read the newspapers, focus on their industry, and really position yourself as an expert. That’s going to be critical.
So again, four tips to help you get more meetings with those customers who you’ve already met with: reference a trigger event; reference something new; look for problems to solve. And then finally, number four—stay informed.
Make it a big day.