Prospect Your Way to Selling Success – Step 3: 3-Minute Meeting
If you’ve been following me on this step-by-step approach to filling your pipeline, you already know how to capture the prospect’s attention and the best answer to the question: “Why meet?” Next, we need to move this total stranger from “this looks interesting” to giving up their most precious resource: time.
The best way to navigate this barrier is to remove it. Reduce the risk and ask for a brief phone meeting — a very brief meeting.
Step Three: Ask for a Three-Minute Meeting
If you’re not in a committed relationship, imagine the following scenario: you’re single and hanging with a few friends a bar. Out of the corner of your eye, you catch a glimpse of a person you would like to meet, a “prospect.”
Without much thought, you walk over, introduce yourself, and within seconds, ask if they are interested in going out to dinner. What’s your success rate?
Probably very similar to the average success rates when prospecting via the phone: dismal. If your success rate is low, the problem may not be how you positioned the meeting, but your recommended next step.
Don’t ask a stranger to invest a big chunk of time. Just ask them for about three minutes to determine if it makes sense to “date.” This not only reduces the resistance to engage, but it also allows them to see you as human, with the expertise to solve their problem, and not a commission breathing sales rep.
Putting This Prospecting Method to the Test
We’ve tested this approach with sellers making what I believe is the most difficult prospecting call: calling cold prospects about life insurance. The sellers who proposed a three-minute phone meeting were eight times more successful than those who asked for an appointment. Additionally, the sellers who followed our recommendation increased their face-to-face meetings by 20%.
Filling Your Pipeline Means Taking a Chance
Give it a shot. Ask for a few minutes to determine if they have a problem you can solve. When the three minutes are up, you can now uniquely communicate how a more in-depth discovery meeting can potentially lead to helping them solve a problem. And they will be shocked you aren’t pushing for more time. Often this approach results in a role reversal, where the prospect is wanting more of your time to discuss their needs, a nice bonus.
Either way, I promise you your rejection rate will dramatically drop and your appointments with qualified prospects will increase.
The best way to get to know us is to know what we value. If we teach it we live it, because what we do speaks far more eloquently than what we say. We’ll always choose people over profits, and we’re most fulfilled and effective when we serve. It drives our culture, frames our training programs and transforms the lives of the clients we partner with.