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Stop, Stop, Stop, Selling! 

What happened was as I expected.  

They immediately launched into what they do and the product/service they provide.  

Why do they do this?  

It’s where they’re comfortable and confident as product specialists.  

It’s what they’ve always done. 

It’s what the prospect expects! 

They think this is how you win business – it’s not! 

Is that what the customer wants? Yes, but much later in the meeting when they’ve built a relationship with you.  

My personal favourite is to start with a question. 

 “In order for me to understand what are your concerns, is it OK if I ask you some questions”? 

This question, or a version thereof, is a great conversation opener. 

“Please explain to me the problem you are experiencing currently”.  

In this part of the meeting the person opposite should be doing most of the talking, with you asking questions to understand their issue and teasing out the key concerns of the person you’re talking to. 

Once you have ascertained this person’s problem that you believe you can solve, you can then move on to telling him a little about yourself and your organisation.  


You do not tell this person everything you do; continue to focus on what you can offer to provide a solution to this particular problem.) 

When you have done the above, recap the problem briefly, get the person to agree that your understanding is correct, and then paint a word picture of how their situation will improve as a result of your intervention.  

Finally, agree upon the next action:  

E.g., send a proposal, ask them to visit a similar project you recently completed, send a sample, visit your showrooms, and discuss dates for commencement. 

Finally, agree on the date of when you’ll next get together (before you leave the meeting). 

REMEMBER: The Number One failure of all meeting leaders is to agree on an action. 

With no action agreed, it will be like starting all over again.