Sales Blunder #7: Failure to Do Your homework

Once you’ve secured the appointment, the real work begins. You must decide what your objective for your meeting – whether it’s face to face or on the telephone – actually is and then create questions that lead the conversation to the destination you have in mind. I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is for you to PLAN for your meeting BEFORE walking in the door or calling them on the phone. Shooting from hip gets your nowhere, so if you are serious about closing sales, you need to do your homework.


The first thing you need to do is determine your top 1-2 objectives for your sales meeting. It might be to generate enough interest to secure another meeting or get the purchasing commitment right on the spot. Whatever your goal, you must be very clear what outcome you expect to achieve when you sit down to meet.

To keep your meeting on point and focused on your objectives, I recommend that you sit down and plan at least 10 questions that you will ask during that meeting. Think about how you can create them in two ways, just in case the answer to your first question falls flat. For example, if you ask: “How was your most recent quarterly sales performance?” and they say “fine”, you need to be prepared to ask the question another way in order to get more information.

Frame your questions using “how” and “what”. Open ended questions tend to elicit answers that give you more than a simple “yes” or “no”. Preparing questions ahead of time keeps your conversation focused and flowing, and you are far more likely to listen to the answers and learn what you need, when you have considered your questions in advance.

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