Home > Approach > You've arranged the meeting with a client, but he doesn't have time to listen to you.

You've arranged the meeting with a client, but he doesn't have time to listen to you.

Say what you think.
Yesterday at the meeting with salesmanagers of our company, analysing the performance of our salespeople, we faced the problem. Our salesmen do not achieve their aims at the meeting. Having listened to the recordings of the meetings we understood that 20 % of the potential clients are not attentive enough, because they are constantly interrupted by phone calls, questions of the colleagues, some urgent businesses, etc. That's why it's almost impossible to grasp the attention of a person, let alone making a deal. But on the other hand, they (i mean potential clients) are interested in the product!!!
How to behave in these situation? Should we pospone our meeting (what is nor desirable) or what else????
Thanks in advance. - by PaDaVan
Say what you think.
Yesterday at the meeting with salesmanagers of our company, analysing the performance of our salespeople, we faced the problem. Our salesmen do not achieve their aims at the meeting. Having listened to the recordings of the meetings we understood that 20 % of the potential clients are not attentive enough, because they are constantly interrupted by phone calls, questions of the colleagues, some urgent businesses, etc. That's why it's almost impossible to grasp the attention of a person, let alone making a deal. But on the other hand, they (i mean potential clients) are interested in the product!!!
How to behave in these situation? Should we pospone our meeting (what is nor desirable) or what else????
Thanks in advance.
People do not like being interrupted but they don't mind you being interrupted. Can you draw anything from that statement?

Maybe this will help. If you give the prospect the stage by conducting your time spent with him by asking questions, and THEN engage in the ALL IMPORTANT act of listening (a key to selling), you will reduce those occasions to a bare minimum. - by Gary A Boye
I would agree with what Gary said and add that it sounds like the problem is not with your prospects, although they seem to be receiving the blame. However, the problem is with you and your sales people. A glaring issue, from what you have described is the way your team approaches the prospect. It sounds like your focus is entire "you" oriented. I would suggest that you focus on providing value to the prospect. How can your sales people give value, meaningful value, to the prospect on every call. Have this as your starting place and I think it will make a significant difference. You will find that prospects will always be "busy" if the sales call is about you, but if you make it about them and provide value, they will find the time to speak with you. - by Harold
This is something that needs to be dealt with up front. When the appointment is made it needs to be communicated that you will need an hour (or however long you need) for our meeting. Do not blow by this. You must get a confirmation "that will be fine." When you arrive for your meeting reconfirm the amount of time that was agreed to. "Mr Smith, when we spoke last week we agreed that the meeting would take one hour. Is that still going to work for you." (this is also the time to ask that you not be disturbed) If they say that they do not have an hour, at least you know up front and you can make the decision to proceed or not. This is classic Sandler "Upfront Contract" training. If you are experiencing specific challenges (interruptions) address it up front. "sometimes when we make appointments we get a number of interruptions. Can we make sure this won't be the case for our meeting." Your time is just as valuable as your prospects. - by Jammonn
This is something that needs to be dealt with up front. When the appointment is made it needs to be communicated that you will need an hour (or however long you need) for our meeting. Do not blow by this. You must get a confirmation "that will be fine." When you arrive for your meeting reconfirm the amount of time that was agreed to. "Mr Smith, when we spoke last week we agreed that the meeting would take one hour. Is that still going to work for you." (this is also the time to ask that you not be disturbed) If they say that they do not have an hour, at least you know up front and you can make the decision to proceed or not. This is classic Sandler "Upfront Contract" training. If you are experiencing specific challenges (interruptions) address it up front. "sometimes when we make appointments we get a number of interruptions. Can we make sure this won't be the case for our meeting." Your time is just as valuable as your prospects.
With all respect to David Sandler, I disagree with Jammonn's advice. The demands on the prospect are both premature and ill-advised. Further, it sounds like the salesperson is trying to teach the prospect and that could be construed is offensive and inappropriate for sure.

With regard to "Your time is just as valuable as your prospects'", that may or may not be true, and certainly should never be thought of as universally true.

"Is this still a good time?" is the Intrinsic Question and can be asked using those six words. - by Gary A Boye
I would have to once again agree with Gary. I have the Sandler Presidents Club materials sitting next to me and I heard the late David Sandler speak numerous time so I am very, very familiar with the Sandler selling system. The root of the issue being addressed is that David Sandler had a way about him, he could say things that if the average sales person said would be highly offensive. However, the problem arises when many of his students think that just cause Sandler could say it, they can too. For those of you who read this and have heard the late David Sandler speak you know exactly what I mean. Sandler had a manner of speaking that allowed him to be "in your face." The problem is that when most people who learn his selling system attempt this same style by repeating some of his techniques it often backfires. - by Harold
I think you are absolutely right, Harold, about using Sandler's techniques.

The problem is that while learning these, the message is "do it, it works". - by sperales
The root of the issue being addressed is that David Sandler had a way about him, he could say things that if the average sales person said would be highly offensive. However, the problem arises when many of his students think that just cause Sandler could say it, they can too.
You are talking about something that is huge, and unfortunately ignored in most sales education.

The building blocks of a sale are Intrinsic Questions. However, once a pure question is devised, the method of delivery and paraphrasing must suit the individual asking it.

Try putting on your best suit and go knock on someone's door and ask "Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?"

But an 8 year old can do it--and sell. - by Gary A Boye
...The building blocks of a sale are Intrinsic Questions...
I've never heard the term "Intrinsic Questions". Could you elaborate? - by DaveB
I've never heard the term "Intrinsic Questions". Could you elaborate?
I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you looking for a definition of the word "intrinsic?" - by Gary A Boye
Personalities have intrinsic values that produce the words YES or NO or any combination of sounds in ways that resonate in unique ways to their own intrinsic values.

OK - you begin by asking is this a good time to talk and if at any time you sense because you are alert that it might not be a good time to continue you ask again and get agreement that it is or isn't.

MitchM - by MitchM
If this really is a recurring problem I might also consider as a matter of course, in the intro, reminding the prospect of why he agreed to meet you. "When we spoke in the phone it seemed like our product/service may be able to do a valuable job for you. To find out if that's right perhaps you can tell me a bit more about..." OR "As I mentioned on the phone our product/service typically saves user 15% of their blah-blah costs. To see if it's any use to you perhaps you can give me a bit of background on..."
This way the prospect is reminded of why you're there, what's in it for her and may be less inclined to respond to interruptions.
--
Onward
Mark - by markg
I'm not sure I understand your question. Are you looking for a definition of the word "intrinsic?"
You capitalized it "Intrinsic Questions" and so I thought it was a recognized term. I've not had a lot of formal sales training so there is a lot I have not been exposed to. - by DaveB
You capitalized it "Intrinsic Questions" and so I thought it was a recognized term. I've not had a lot of formal sales training so there is a lot I have not been exposed to.
Dave, I confess that I capitalized it because it is a term I have personally coined and I truly believe that, down the road, an understanding of that concept will be a significant contribution to sales education.

In the near future, I'll send you some expository notes for your review.

But--if you want to have some fun using your grey matter, zero in and give some thoughts to my seemingly lighthearted Girl Scout reference on this thread. - by Gary A Boye
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