More, ‘fresh’ opening questions to make prospects think in 1-1 meetings

 In Message creation

One, first question you can ask your sales presentation prospects at the start of a one on one meeting is this one: “What’s important to you about the relationship you have with the people who report to you?”. The ‘What’s important to you about . . .’ type questions come from Bill Bacharach whom I mentioned in a recent post. (please see 19 May post).

Another question you can ask is a variation of this one: “I know by the research I’ve done, that you’ve made a number of acquisitions over the last three quarters. What I would like to learn is how you are handling _______?”

Here’s another question sequence I learned from Bill Bacharach that you can adapt to your interactions: 1. “What areas and metrics do you use to measure the success of your business developers?” 2. “Where are the majority of your people now, and where do you want them to be in each of those areas?” 3. “How are you currently bridging the gap?”

After the first minute or two of your prospect meetings you ideally want the person to be thinking: “Gee, we’re only a few minutes into the meeting and already this person has demonstrated great insight and worth.”

As you may know, some senior executives always have their executive assistant enter their initial meetings with potential suppliers or vendors, at about two minutes into the meeting.

The executive assistant says something along the following lines: “John, sorry to interrupt the meeting, but you have an important overseas phone call.” The boss may then tell the supplier that he’ll have to stop the meeting and re-schedule it.

However, there really is no phone call. It’s only a pretext and an escape for the boss from the meeting, if (from the first two minutes) he/she believes it’s not worth spending any more time with the supplier/vendor.

If this ever happens to you, instead of the boss ‘taking the call’ you want him to say something like this to his receptionist: “That’s ok Doris, he’s passed the test.” (ie. you’ve passed the test of delivering value in the first two minutes and he wants to continue spending time with you).

The ‘how to apply’ for this post: In the next seven days aim to contribute substantial worth within the first, two minutes of your one on one meetings.

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