A tip for sales managers: Get them to send an agenda

Today I’ll give you a sales management tip to help your sales team make more effective calls to prospects and customers alike.

 When I train salespeople to make great calls I always urge them to send an agenda in advance of the call. It’s not hard to write an agenda, and once created, it can be quickly modified for any call you make. A pre-call agenda has a powerful impact on your prospect.  Let’s suppose you’re selling some form of insurance or employee benefits packages. Here’s what you might say by email after you hang up the phone.

 “Paul, thank you for agreeing to meet with me on the 12th at 9:00 a.m. in your office. I look forward to our discussion, which I anticipate will take no longer than one hour.

 I thought it would be helpful if I sent you a proposed agenda in advance, so that we might both prepare for a mutually beneficial discussion. In order to discover how (name of my company) and I can be of greatest service to you, I would like to discuss the following: 

  • A brief discussion on the value proposition for (my company), our reputation for high-quality service, and how we have helped other companies such as yours
  • Your objectives for the coming year, progress to date and any obstacles, concerns or key issues you are faced with right now, as it applies to employee benefits and insurance coverage
  • An overview of current trends in your industry and the marketplace, and our research on how you are likely to be affected
  • Recommendations on how we can be of help and a discussion of likely next steps.

 I recognize that your time is valuable, so I want to make our meeting as productive as possible, and ensure that we uncover at least one useful idea to help you achieve your business objectives more easily. As this meeting is about you and your company, please let me know about other topics you would like to discuss.

 See you on Thursday. Best regards, (Name and title)”

 At your next sales meeting, introduce the topic of sending agenda, direct your team to begin sending them now, and to blind-copy you each time, so you can follow up and coach.

 You’ll get some pushback at first, so ask your team, “How does sending an agenda help you?” and write down their responses on the whiteboard. They’ll be surprised to see all the benefits. I can think of at least five.

 The agenda:

  • Gets the prospect thinking of the meeting topics and perhaps others who should attend
  • Differentiates the rep as a consultative, professional salesperson.  Not many sales reps send an agenda
  • Invites the prospect to contribute topics of his own, so it’s customer-centric
  • Keeps the sales rep on topic in the meeting.  The rep promised the content areas and now has to deliver
  • Believe it or not, it reduces cancellations! If the prospect reluctantly accepted the meeting and thought about cancelling, he’s unlikely to do so now that he sees the professional approach and the meeting preparation

 Let me know if you are doing this now and how it’s working, or if you would like my help in crafting an agenda for your team. This is an easy tactic and it’s very effective.

 Think Like Your Customer

About Gregory LaMothe
I teach people how to sell things. I own the company ActionSystems. Visit my website at www.actionsystemstraining.com.

One Response to A tip for sales managers: Get them to send an agenda

  1. Jeanne Kelly-Rieken says:

    I love the idea of having an agrenda framework that can be personalized easily. I think quick and easy is best.

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