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Here's a few tips for when you meet with your prospect in person...

Sometimes salespeople get so wrapped up in making the sale that they fail to pay close attention to the more immediate issue—how to successfully conduct the first meeting with a potential client. What often happens is that this all-important encounter is unsuccessful and sales goals aren’t met.

Recognizing the significance of the first meeting and the need to make that interaction as positive as possible are critical—if the meeting doesn’t go as planned, you can bet that prospect won’t buy a thing.

There are four goals, which, if met, will help you have successful first meetings. But what must be kept in mind is that it’s just as important to know what not to do as what to do.

Mastering the following “dos and don’ts” will help make your first appointment successful and make it more likely that you’ll get a second.

First, keep in mind that you do, in fact, have more than one chance to make a first impression. The first chance to make a good impression is when you initially meet the prospect; your second chance is at the end of the first meeting.

That said, your first goal for a successful initial meeting is to make the best possible first and last impression. This applies to any first contact you have with a prospect, whether it’s an in-person meeting, telephone conversation, voicemail or even an e-mail communiqué. Ending the first meeting with a good impression or on a high note will leave your prospect wanting to meet with you again.

The second goal is to confirm your expert status by confidently answering the question (whether it’s spoken or not) that every prospect has: “How can you and your product/services meet my needs?” As a broker or agent of insurance products, it goes without saying that you must become an expert on the various product lines you offer to clients—whether term or variable life or auto insurance—and be comfortable discussing the benefits and risks of each. Prospects are more likely to do business with salespeople who know the ins and outs of their field.

The most important aspect of successful first appointments is the third goal: present your ideas with conviction. If you’re not totally convinced that you and your product or service are worthy of a sale—or even a second appointment, for that matter—you won’t complete the sale. You may cite lack of interest in your products and services or budgetary problems as the main reasons for failure to complete a sale, but this usually is not the case. It’s more probable that you just weren’t convincing enough in your pitch. You must be completely convinced of the quality in your products and services to complete any sale.

Being excited about your products and services, selling what you’d actually purchase and having a genuine interest in what you’re selling will make your pitch more convincing. As a result, you’ll have greater success completing sales.

The fourth goal for a successful first meeting is to create specific action items for both you and your prospects. In other words, set small goals that will advance the progress of the sale. Assigning action items to your prospects will guarantee that you’ll have a balanced business relationship. The action item you assign a prospect will vary depending on what the prospect wants.

For instance, you could ask the prospect to think about and put together a list of the types of insurance coverage they need, whether it’s auto, life, home, etc., with specific details. Once you have that information you will be better positioned to help them find the right type of coverage with the best rates.

Knowing the dos for having a successful first appointment is only half the battle; you need to familiarize yourself with the don’ts as well. For starters, don’t talk, instead “speak.” There’s a difference between talking and speaking and that difference is purpose. Successful salespeople are those who speak about their product or service with the prospect’s goals and needs in mind. If you want to get a second appointment, you should truly understand your prospects’ objectives and speak with purpose.

It’s also important to make sure you don’t use language that won’t be familiar to your prospect. Don’t use language that is too technical or full of insider jargon. Using such language will likely make your prospect feel intimidated, which will result in fewer second appointments and even fewer sales.

Last, and most important, don’t stretch the truth. It’s something that some salespeople do, but in the end causes more harm than good. Over-promising and under-delivering have a way of coming back to you negatively. Don’t embellish your products or services and make sure all product and service literature you give prospects is completely accurate.

Putting these tips into practice will help you not only have successful first appointments and get more second appointments, but help you ultimately complete the sales process. You’ll come across as more confident, knowledgeable and professional and prospects will view you as a trustworthy salesperson with whom to do business. Now if you need a few quality appointments within the next week to put these tips into use, contact us now at 1-888-503-1350 and let us do the leg work for you!

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