Clients Think you Have an Agenda. So Have One!
How often have you ended a ad-sales call in person or the phone knowing you didn’t cover all the things you needed to? Perhaps you failed to communicate important new opportunities or a key value proposition, or you didn’t have the right opportunity to listen to the client? How valuable to your sales efforts would it be to say — implicitly – to your contacts: “I value your time and have invested time to make sure you get the most out of our appointment.” Setting an agenda at the beginning of every substantive phone call or meeting solves all those problems.
When you say “I have prepared a brief agenda, let’s review it quickly and make sure we’ll cover all the things you are concerned about,” you’ll be set up for success. After you tick off the 3 or 4 items you propose to cover, you can ask your first probing question: “Is there anything else you’d like to be sure we cover?”
By proposing an agenda at the beginning of an ad-sales call, you will be able to start listening early in the selling process. And perhaps you can get an easy “yes” when you ask: “Does this cover all the things you’d like to cover?” You’ll also be telling the prospect that you have built in time to hear about their concerns, issues, suggestions, questions, etc. That way they can relax and concentrate on your pitch, knowing you’ll give them time to speak.
Savvy ad-sales people know that the first step of a sales conversation is achieving a rapport with their client or prospect. You can be business-like AND personal by saying “I have prepared a quick agenda, and I would like your reaction to it. But first, how are your kids?” Or “did you see the game last night?” That way, you can get the pleasantries out of the way without losing control of the conversation.