What Is The Value Of A Pre-Plan

I just finished up a week of productive sales calls. By productive I mean they all moved forward to next steps in the selling process.

These were big meetings. Each has million dollar potential so I invested more time in developing my pre-plans. I considered questions to ask, their likely questions and objections, how to address those and how to move to next steps.

 So this got me to thinking. If my meetings don’t go as planned why bother planning?

For me the preplan does a few things:

–   It makes sure I know my goals for the meeting
–   It gets me thinking about how to get there
–   It ensures I ask questions (I literally plan the questions I am going to ask)
–   It gives me confidence because I am prepared
–   It leads to success

By planning for the goal of the meeting I ensure that I in fact have a goal. I cannot tell you how many professional visits I have been on with sales reps where we visit we have a nice conversation but no movement towards a sale.

By thinking about my strategy, I am prepared and thinking about questions, how my buyer might be thinking and it gets me thinking on a conscious and unconscious level. As a result I am better prepared.

By planning questions I ensure that I am learning and that the buyer is learning. I am not just showing up and throwing up. My conversation is targeted, and directed by their goals and objectives (which I would not know if I did not ask questions).

Maybe it is the Boy Scout in me but, I always feel more confident when I am prepared. Let’s fact it confidence plays a big role in our ability to sell.

Add all of these up, and your chances for success are substantially improved.

–   Did you prepare for your last or prospect meeting?
–   If you did what happened?
–   If you didn’t what happened?

Take good care

One Comment:

  1. Hi John,

    I think your Boy Scout motto said it best. Planning is about preparation. The old saying is, “Every boxer has a plan, until he gets hit”. That certainly applies in a sales meeting as well. But by doing your homework, by preparing yourself for what will likely happen you increase the odds of handling the unexpected as well. When you “get hit” it throws you off your stride for just a few moments. But since you are prepared you are willing and able to not just adjust, but adjust the right way to get back on track.

    I don’t know how many meetings I’ve been to that ended up about where I expected them to. But the route to get to that point was much different than I imagined. It was my preparation that allowed me to take the diverse ideas presented, organize them in the context of what I knew about the client, and then melded those new thoughts with my existing knowledge to get us back on track.

    Thanks for an insightful article.


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