There’s usually a lot of enthusiasm, energy, and excitement leading up to and coming directly out of a first prospect meeting.
Then it’s a bit like how a car dramatically loses its value as soon as it leaves the lot.
More than likely, you get distracted with other things (like managing existing business, putting out fires, dealing with personnel issues) and they don’t stay with the prospect well enough to see it through to closure and success.
Unless a proposal, or a defined next step, is specifically discussed, closing the sale takes almost as much effort as opening the door.
You have to stay on the radar, you have to show the prospect that you’re there to help and add value to their world. Because if you don’t, they, just like you, will get distracted, put off moving on the things they talked to you about, and the “mojo” will fade.
Five key steps you should take following your initial meeting that can help better your chances of winning a piece of business:
Immediately after the meeting, follow-up (either you or your new business director) to thank them and see if any questions remain unanswered.
Find reasons to stay in front of your prospect, because if you don’t, someone else will. You never know when the prospect will be ready to make a move- starting a project or better yet, make an agency change.
Simply being there isn’t enough. You need good reason to connect. Set up a google alert on the prospect and company. When you come across news, drop them a line with a “congrats” or a “hey, I was thinking”. It will show you’re on top of it.
Don’t Give Up
I’ve seen sales people really “dog it” persistently and oftentimes it is key to their winning more business. I’ve also seen more sales folks get discouraged when someone doesn’t call them back in a few days (or sometimes as long as a few weeks) after the initial meeting. Your prospect’s world gets just as busy (if not busier) than your world. So understand that you’re not their number one priority.
Keep Yourself in their Purview
When you’re in conversation with prospects following meetings or after exchanging emails, use that time to talk about the new things going on at your firm to keep the prospect excited, energized, and motivated to want to eventually work with you.
Bottom line: recognize that closing business isn’t a short-term adventure.
Opportunities are never ready-made.
They take hard work, creative thinking, and value-added persistence to make prospects take and keep notice of your compelling value and points of difference.
If you’re going to put in the upfront energy to get the meeting (or hire a group like ours to find the opportunities for you), put the same amount of energy into the back-end.
If you’re a B2B firm and you need help filling your pipeline, we’re happy to help out (firstname.lastname@example.org).