I recently posted a LinkedIn survey asking about the main reason that salespeople don’t secure a next step. Here are the results:
Seller not prepared with next step options 38%
Didn’t ask for a next step 34%
Wait until the end, prospect must rush off 16%
Lack of value provided during the meeting 12%
The single most important thing I can tell you is that talking about next steps needs to be woven in early as part of your sales conversation. You have to talk about them throughout the meeting, so you’re in a position to nail down the details by the end of the meeting.
Your next steps should be consistent with your prospect’s goals for the meeting.
And here’s a tip when it comes to next steps: All next steps must be actions to which your prospect has committed.
Prospect actions could include scheduling a follow-up meeting, making an introduction for you to a decision maker, or agreeing to send you information for a study by a specific date.
The key thing is, you want your prospect to take action.
Any action on your part should be in addition to a next step that is a committed go-forward action from your prospect.
Another key to tapping into the power of next steps – think through both your best next step and your second-best next step during your pre-call prep. This technique gives you flexibility to adjust during the meeting based on the discussion.
For example, say you’re going over your proposal with your prospect. The best next step could be getting them to agree to a meeting with procurement to solidify your contract. The second-best next step might be getting them to accept a follow-up meeting to clarify implementation details before moving to the contract stage.
Either way, you win in that you’re advancing your sales process.
Ring the Bell!!!
Plan on ‘Ringing the Bell’ much more frequently by committing to the power of next steps, which are carefully considered during your pre-call prep before every prospect meeting.