The spotlight is largely hogged by the 5 ‘P’s’ of marketing, being taught in every MBA program and memorized by business professionals globally. Far more important, however, are the 3 ‘P’s’ of selling which will come in handy the next time you’re looking to initiate and close a deal.

1. Prepare

In the fast-paced world of sales, people are so hung up on getting leads that they actually forget to adequately prepare for interactions with prospects. This ‘P’ refers to preparation done on three fronts i.e. understanding the person you’re going to engage with, the company that they work for and finding a point of interest to warm up the discussion if needed. Thanks to LinkedIn and other social media, this basic information is extremely easy to come by. Remember: when preparation meets opportunity, great things happen.

2. Point of View

At some point during a positive sales call, your prospect is going to ask you, ‘So how can you help me?’. Your answer to this requires a point of view. A POV is created based off of the research you did in the ‘prepare’ phase and combined with the prospect’s responses to specific leading questions deployed early on. Key tip: top salespeople have great questions NOT great pitches.

3. Progress the Sales Cycle

Picture this – a buoyant sales rep returns from a first sales meeting with a prospect to happily announce to his manager that the meeting was a smash success. When the managers ask why, the sales rep indicates that the prospect is a terrific guy and that their sons both play hockey in the same league. The manager asks, “What business problem do they have that we can solve for?” and the sales rep responds, “That’s a very good question, Boss.” The manager then educates the sales rep that he should have thought about both of these questions LONG before going to the meeting.

Most salespeople spend more time traveling to a sales call then planning for it. If you want a productive meeting, think about your meeting objective, desired outcome and core messaging long before you arrive. Arm yourself with a list of the open-ended questions that will drive a discussion around helping the prospect run a better business. Rapport building is part of the game but not all of it.

Article reposted with permission from In The Funnel

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