Partners in Performance Blog

Preparation Checklist for Intentional Selling Success

Check-List-Sales-PreparationPreparation is the first step in the Intentional Selling 6-Step Process, as it is in any sales system process. Yet, when I work with sales professionals and we do a post-mortem sales autopsy, it’s the first place things go wrong – in the preparation, before there’s even any contact with the client!

Don’t let this happen to you. It’s avoidable. You have control over your sales preparation.

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. But not all preparation is the same. Knowing how to effectively prepare is one of the most important skills successful sales people have honed.

How well prepared are you with your repeatable sales process? Is it intentional and consistent? Or are you repeating many of the same bad habits over and over?

When sales people and their leaders work with me one of the things I consistently hear is the value of the Intentional Selling call planning process. It’s no accident that the first step of the 6-step process is PREPARE.

Before airline pilots take off, they go through an extensive checklist to make sure their plane is safe and prepared. Why not do the same for your sales meetings? You’ll greatly improve your sales and make better landings!

Here are a few questions to stimulate your thinking about your approach to preparing for a sales meeting.

Checklist to Prepare for Your Sales Meetings


1. Purpose of the Meeting: Are you clear on the purpose of the meeting?

  • How will you articulate the purpose of the meeting in a way that creates curiosity and benefit for your client?

2. Outcome: What is the desired outcome? Tip: An outcome is a specific action or agreement that follows as a result or consequence of the meeting.

  • At the end of the meeting, what evidence would indicate the meeting was successful?
  • If you can’t get your ideal outcome, what would be next best?

3. Know Your Audience: Have you done your research?

  • On the client (LinkedIn, Google +, Google search, people who know him/her)
  • On the company (website, Google search, people who have inside information)
  • In their industry (Google search, industry trade sites/publications)

 4. Potential Issues/Challenges: Can you put yourself in the shoes of your client?

  • What internal or external issues is your prospective client facing?
  • What are the risks both personally and for the company if the issues aren’t addressed?

  5. Anticipated Objections/Questions: Are you prepared to answer objections that might arise?

  • What objections or difficult questions are likely to be raised?
  • Do you have a process to respond without being defensive?
  • How would you answer each objection?
  • How will you surface or bring out concerns that are NOT raised?

  6. Setting Your Intention: Are you thinking about how you are thinking?

  • Are you aware of the assumptions that might be limiting your success in this opportunity?
  • What is your strategy to reframe limiting assumptions and get in the ‘success mindset’?
  • What are you saying to yourself to feel confident?

  7. Opening the Meeting: Do you know how to set the context for the meeting?

  • How will you take the ‘reins’ to create focus and set the stage for the meeting?
  • How will you establish your credibility at the onset?
  • Tip: You are establishing your credibility and professionalism with every step of your sales meeting when you hone your sales process skills. On top of that it is important to have a compelling and explicit way to establish your credibility quickly and early in a new client meeting to give your client confidence to proceed.

 8. Discovery Questions: Do you have a strategy to ask a broad spectrum of questions that are relevant for your client?

  • What are the important areas to investigate during your discovery?
  • What questions will you ask to uncover needs and challenges and desired outcomes?
  • What questions will help your client see the consequences of not addressing the challenges identified?
  • How will you structure your questions to ensure you gather both relevant data AND your client’s opinions and feelings?

 9. Positioning Your Products and/or Services: How will you tell your story?

  • What social proof, evidence, examples and analogies are in your storytelling toolbox that are relevant for your client?
  • How will you link your capabilities to your client’s needs so they will see the benefit?

 10. Concluding the Meeting: Do you know how to land the plane?

  • What call to action will you ask of your client?
  • What next steps will move the action forward the furthest and the fastest?
  • What agreements will you make?

 11. Following Up: Do you do what you say you will do?

  • What follow up action(s) will you deliver to immediately add value, reinforce the buying decision and keep the momentum?
  • How will you document next steps to help your client keep his/her agreements to you?

You can see that by paying attention to these checkpoints, you’ll be prepared selling success. Leave one or two steps out, however, and you’ll run out of gas or end up somewhere you didn’t intend. Your sales are too important to leave to chance landings.

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This entry was posted by Tanja Parsley on August 29, 2014 in Intentional Selling™, Sales Process, Sales Skills, Sales Tools. Bookmark the permalink. Follow comments with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback.

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