We have all experienced this before right? You go on a sales call with a business partner, a sales engineer or even your manager (that’s a whole other episode in it self). But you are also in the sales meeting with someone else in a team selling situation and you didn’t do much preparation prior to the meeting. Before you know it the appointment is not going the way you thought it would.
Why? Because you are the only person who thought it would go that way. They are YOUR thoughts and others don’t know them. Since nothing was planned, your team selling turns into a sales appointment disaster! Well, don’t you fret. Those days a long gone now.
Here are the three most important things you need to remember when team selling:
1. Have a clear goal (purpose):
A. Why are you meeting with the prospect or client?
It is important to have a clearly defined outcome for the meeting. Is this an initial meeting to discover if you are a fit for each other, a meeting to ask for the sale or is it a demonstration/presentation of some sort? Whatever it is, make sure it is VERY clearly defined.
B. Why are you bringing someone else along to this appointment?
What is the reason for someone else attending this meeting with you? Do they have a clear understanding of what they are supposed to be doing? These are important questions to discuss with your selling partner. The last thing you want to do is start the meeting and the person who is supposed to be your sales engineer, starts taking the prospect down another path. Believe you me, bad things start to happen when folks don’t know their roles.
2. Plan your meeting:
The second important thing to remember in a team selling situation is effective planning. Since it is “team selling” you need to perform as a team. Great team sellers look like they are doing a performance when they work together. They understand what they are supposed to talk about, when they are suppose to talk about it and why. They are totally in sync with their communication and delivery.
This portrays to the prospect a unified front and your a professional organization who knows what they are doing. It helps them gain that added confidences in your product or service.
Another thing to prepare for when doing a team selling demonstration on site is seating. Where will the person offering the presentation sit or stand? Where will the supporting person sit? This is something important I learned when I was selling with a software company. I went on a demo with the CEO of the organization. Prior to the meeting, in our planning session, he brought up the seating situation. He said as he was presenting, I would sit in a position where I can look at the prospect and see if they are getting the information being presented. Since I had seen the demo before, my role wasn’t to watch the demo as much as it was to watch the prospects and their comprehension/receptiveness. When I saw their facial expressions and body language indicating that they weren’t getting a point, I would jump in and help to clearly. This worked very effectively.
Also, be sure to offer intel to your sales partner. What information do you have from previous meetings which you can share to help them get up to speed on the prospect. For example, who is your supporter for this project, who are the decision makers, who is the non supporter. Fuzzy file info like where the prospect is from, favorite activities, how many kids, favorite sports team etc. These simple preparation infromation will help your team selling situation go along way.
3. Meeting outcome and post meeting:
Now this one of the most over looked part in team selling. Your presentation needs to be flawless, but this is the part where money is usually made. Did you accomplish what was defined in the first meeting? Is there a clear outcome or goal? Is it fine to ask for the business and who is going to do it? What will you say? What commitment or next step you would like the prospect to take?
What about the next meeting? Who will send a meeting recap to the prospect? Are you going to send a hand written thank you note and who will do it? I highly recommend the thank you note. It is always exceptional edge that will impress the buyer.
You also need to do things that you promised the client in the meeting that you would do. Such answer further questions, maybe offer references, send over the updated agreement etc. At the end of a meeting there are things the sellers need to do and you need to know who will do it and when it is going to get done. Finally, always have a clear next steps!
These things are not complicated and you may have your own practice. But from my experience these are some of the most important steps to do.
Feel free to tell me more about your team selling practices below. I would love to hear from you.