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The Sales Buzz Issue 307 - Setting a Sales Agenda - Should you add do it?
March 03, 2016

Setting a Sales Agenda - Should you do it?

Setting a sales agenda with your prospects at the start of a sales meeting can give you great benefits, so should you add it to your selling process?

An agenda clearly sets out what you will do in your meeting.

It tells the prospect the 5 or 6 steps you will take to get to a position where you can present a proposal to them.

It gives everyone in the meeting a time frame so they know where they are on the agenda and can gain a sense of how long it will take to complete the process.

They will know if the selling process will take an hour, or if it will be over more than just one meeting.

And, it often prevents, or brings out early, objections, obstacles, and reasons the prospect can't buy from you, which is great to know early on rather than at the end.

So how come many sales people still don't use an agenda in the Introduction Stage of their meetings?

See the information below and then make a decision on whether you should add a sales agenda to your meetings with prospects...

Setting a Sales Agenda - What is it?

To decide if you should set a sales agenda with your prospects you need to know what an agenda is, and what should be in it.

Setting a sales agenda in meetings with prospects should set out the process you are going to follow to achieve the objective of the meeting.

The objective may well have been given when you stated the reason for meeting during the introduction stage.

It's usually to see if a prospect qualifies, or is able, to gain benefits from the products and services that you sell.

A typical sales agenda could be:

You will ask the prospect some questions to see if they could benefit from your services, or to gather information to enable you to select the most suitable options from your range of products.

You will then present to them a sales proposal, and if they are happy with it you will ask them if they would like to place an order.

And that last bit is the important part

You are saying, you are going to ask them for a decision after you've gone to all the trouble of asking questions, and presenting a proposal.

Obviously the above would be put into your own words and phrases and made appropriate for your prospects.

For example:

In your sales role you might ask your prospects for commitment to the next stage of the sales process, rather than trying to close the sale on the first meeting.

Or, you may be doing a physical survey of the customer's premises, rather than asking them questions, to gather the information you need.

Gaining Agreement to Your Sales Agenda

After you have proposed the sales agenda to the prospect you ask for their agreement to it.

When setting a sales agenda, you are letting them know that you will be asking them for an order after you have presented your proposal.

Depending upon how you word your sales agenda, you are asking for them to make a buying decision at the end of the meeting, or to make some other commitment.

The sales strength when asking for this agreement, to the process and to giving you a decision, needs to be at the right level for your marketplace.

For some products and services this technique works great. For others it should be a friendly negotiation between you and the buyer as to how you move forward.

Benefits of Setting a Sales Agenda

When you set an agenda you're telling your prospect what you are going to do to give them the benefits you've discussed.

You and the prospect will know exactly what's going to happen in the meeting so there will be no misunderstandings about why you are there.

They will be able to monitor the progress and have an idea of how far into the process you are.

Some sales objections, related to making a buying decision, will often come up at the early stages as you try to set the agenda.

This is good because it allows you deal with them, or know that you can't overcome them, before you have spent your time asking questions and presenting your sales proposal.

It's also a good way of keeping your prospects on track throughout the meeting, which will help you to stick to time and not overrun.

Have a think about adding setting a sales agenda to your meetings, and including it in your Sales Process...

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