Today I was coaching a client who sells “marketing services” to multi billion GBP companies.

70% response rate from decision maker

Over the last few months we have devised a marketing campaign that gets the attention of the top decision maker AND has enabled my client to book meetings with the most senior marketing director in the company.

That campaign is incredibly successful – in fact it has resulted in 70% meeting requests.  A testament to my clients creativity, diligence and consistency.  They are “punching well above their weight” when it comes the size of their company versus the incumbent agencies.

From meeting to deal …

Having won the chance to get infront of the “top banana”.  How do you turn that meeting into a meaningful business opportunity and ultimately a deal to deliver some invoicable work.

Choice 1:  return from the meeting and “spam them with marketing collateral, ideas, brochures…

Choice 2:  pick up on something they said and immediately invest a day of work on creatives and costings all “wrapped up in a bow” and hope that the decision maker is in a buying mood – this takes a lot of time, effort and money, as well as opportunity cost if you are a small agency

hmm, neither of those make good business sense.  One burns all the good will and professional creativity you demonstrated that got you into the meeting.  the other at best burns time and money and might get you something

What to do?

Step 1

Sales Cycle - flow chart being updatedMap your sales process and follow the map!  in other words.  Know what the outcomes and next steps post meeting that you want to achieve.

Remember you are not trying to make a one step sale.  This flow also plans how you want the meeting to run, you have thought through how you establish rapport, discover the challenge, find out how big is the “pain” or problem, how urgent is it to get fixed. what they have tried to do the fix it in the past.

Then test the waters with some solution approaches.  Get agreement to follow up (that way they are expecting something from you).   ideally you get their commitment to do something as well.  Action shows commitment on their side.  Could be an introduction to another department, or a referral down, or could relate directly to the problem. etc

Step 2

Create re-useable, customisable sales and marketing collateral that answers the questions and pain points you have identified in your meeting. Keep what you send brief – couple of lines of text with a short attachment (if you must) where you outline the pain that you discovered in the meeting.

Demonstrate you heard them and understand the impact on their business – it also refreshes their memory and reconnects them to the pain.   You then talk about your “guaranteed process” for generating a solution for their pain, what that solution would do for them and and how it moves their business forward.

Step 2.1

Have a clear call to action that moves the sales relationship forward one step. It could be a simple as asking the question “will give you a call in a couple of days to get your thoughts”, or “how does this fit with what you had in mind”.

You then wait a couple of days and YOU pick up the phone as ask to speak to them.    Asking the How does that fit with what you have in mind?… what might be the next steps with this?  both will help you advance the opportunity but will give you manuever space if you didn’t hit the bullseye with your proposal

Before you go onto the next company – “rinse and repeat”.  Review your sales process, rate yourself on your pain-detective skills, tweak your collateral.  By the time you have done this a couple of times the time and effort it takes you to meet and new company and generate a sales opportunity will have both speeded up and the time you need to invest will be reduced

More, better, easier, faster…

Want to talk through some ideas for your business … give me a call.

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