Okay, here’s the situation: You’ve just walked out of your first appointment with a new prospect. It went well, you think to yourself. The customer heard about your equipment and your services and your differences.

You, in turn did your share of listening, too. You listened while the customer talked about his buying habits and vendor criteria. In the end, the prospect promised to call you the very next time he had something to quote on. You sit in your car, deeply satisfied that the call went as well as you did.

It feels like a victory. You’ve won, um, well, the right to be one of countless vendors providing a quote. Yeah, that’s it, that’s what you’ve won.

But that’s not a real victory, is it?

Sure, you have his card, but unless it was your desire to get into a bidding war, you could have done better.

Steven Covey would’ve tell you to begin with the end in mind. Before you walk into a first appointment with a new prospect, consider where you want to be when it is over. What does ‘victory’ look like to you? An order? Sure, but not likely.

A better and more probable goal is leaving with a day, date and time written on the back on that card indicating your next appt. That’s a win. In fact, you can even tell the customer on that first visit, “My goal is to find a reason to return.”

Next time, don’t leave that office without a follow up action, preferably an appointment. If you’ve done your job in the first sales call, you can stand, shake hands and say, “See you in a week!”

Now THAT’S a victory!


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