Q&A: Trouble Setting Up a Follow-Up Meeting


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TERRY ASKS: I help people with new product launches. When I meet with prospects, I do a decent job of building rapport and quantifying their pain. But I run into trouble when I try to nail them down for the next step.

For example, I’ll say, “I’ll call you at 9am on Tuesday to collect input for the ROI process.” Instead of agreeing, they’ll say “I don’t know my calendar” or “Can you please call me next week.”

Should I be empathetic to their situation and just call next week as they ask? Or should I push for a firm time commitment/due date for any follow-up action no matter how harassed they are so I can keep in control of the sales process?

JILL ANSWERS: Dealing with crazy-busy prospects is a real challenge. So let’s assume you really did do a great job in the call.

If that’s the case, then you need to wrap your request for a follow-up meeting with the valid business reason why they need to meet you again. For example, you could say:

“We’ve talked about a number of issues related to your product launches. I have some ideas re: how you can significantly impact time-to-profitability on your upcoming introduction.

But based on my experience, we’re going to need to get x, y and z people involved too. Their input is critical. Let’s get something on the calendar for that. The longer you wait, the tougher it’ll be to get the results you want.”

One more thing. If you hate “controlling” the sales process (which I personally do), here’s an option. Think of yourself as being a project manager who just want to keep things progressing so your prospects can achieve their goals.

Finally, if they still don’t set up a meeting, it’s likely they didn’t see the value or they really do have some pressing things that need to get done.

What suggestions do you have for Terry?

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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