Do you think sales starts at the appointment? If you do you’re short-changing yourself and working far harder than you need to. Your sales results are far less than they could be.

The first two steps in the sales process happen long before the appointment. Step one is to get the attention and interest of the highly qualified prospects you want to work with. Step two is to provide those prospects with a highly motivating reason to reach out to you.

When you properly perform these first two steps everything after that gets a whole lot easier. In step one you’re filtering for the right people, and that means you aren’t meeting with people who aren’t likely to do business with you in the first place. In step two you’re allowing them to raise their hand as a ready buyer.

Now when it comes time for the appointment the appointment will go something like this. The prospect meets with you at the agreed upon time and location. You start the appointment by discussing an agenda for the meeting and begin gathering the information you need to help the prospect. The prospect readily shares their wants with you making it easy for you to progress to a sales solution. By the end of the appointment both you and the prospect know if the solution you have is the one they want, and you either agree to do business together or you agree to the next step in the sales process to get to the point of doing business together.

Is that how the bulk of your appointments go now? When you struggle to even agree as to why you’re meeting, when the prospect doesn’t want to open up and share what you need to know, when they just can’t seem to move forward these are all signs that spending more time on steps one and two will produce greater results with less time than what you’re doing now. Steps one and two take you and the prospect through the most difficult phases of the selling process; moving a stranger from knowing nothing about you, to knowing who you are, to knowing a little about you, to having an experience with you, to wanting to know more about what you do and how that can help them.

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