Mark Shonka

Sales Tip: Starting with Success

Over the last couple of months, these Tips have focused on ideas to make scheduling research meetings easier. Why the extra focus on this topic? Because one of the most important tactical steps we can take involves scheduling these critical meetings. Although many people reading the Tip of the month enjoy this step, the idea of picking up the phone and requesting a different type of meeting can be intimidating to some.

Here's a way to increase your success rate when scheduling a research meeting - start with a coach. After all, a coach is a person who wants you to win and feels that they win when you win. No one is more likely to say "yes" to your research meeting request! Here are a couple of ways this request could sound:

"Hello Maria. The reason I am reaching out to you is that we have that big meeting in a few weeks, and I would love to get together to do some homework ahead of the meeting. How does your schedule look?"

"Hello Maria. Although we work together all of the time, I am feeling a little out of touch with my knowledge of your business and where it is headed. When could we get together so I could step back and make sure I am keeping my finger on the pulse?"

Last week in a client workshop, we challenged the group with an assignment: everyone had to try scheduling a research meeting over a 1 hour lunch break. At first, the group was less than enthusiastic. After we clarified they could start with a coach, everything changed. The mood improved, stress was reduced, and the group jumped in and made some calls. An hour later, nearly every person had succeeded in scheduling a meeting. It was easy.

Here's another benefit - if you start your research with a coach and ask this question, "Who else should I connect with to continue my research efforts?" you are likely to get referrals that will keep your momentum building.



Mark Shonka

Sales Tip: Gatekeeper-Proof?

As sales professionals, many of the challenges we face evolve over time. One challenge that has been remarkably constant is the presence of gatekeepers. These are people who block our access to people and our sales strategy. Passive or aggressive, rude or pleasant, their desired outcome is the...

Mark Shonka

Sales Tip: An Exclusive Ability?

In many of our past Tips, we have talked about Business Fit and the concept of shifting our focus from the specifications of our solutions to the business outcomes we can help create for and with our customers.

To do this, we leverage our various sources of value, including our people...