There are two basic ways to go about sales--the easy way or the hard way. That might sound overly simplistic, but it's true. Far too many salespeople overcomplicate selling, constantly changing their approach to try some fancy new technique to close more sales.

But in the end, it's the simple, steady selling strategy that wins the proverbial race in sales. That's why the most successful salespeople in the world take the same tried-and-true steps, time and time again, to get the most out of discovery meetings with prospects.

Check out these nine simple steps you can take to make your sales meetings way more successful, so you can crush your sales goals.

1. Make it about the prospect.

Before you even step foot into a sales meeting, you need to remember something: Your prospect only cares about one person--and it's not you. Don't talk about your company's history, your experience, or the features of your product or service. Instead, focus your entire conversation on the prospect, and they'll be much more interested in engaging with you.

2. Tone it down.

For over 70 years, sales gurus have been teaching salespeople to be really excited and passionate about their offerings. As a result, salespeople have developed an enthusiastic tone that prospects can pick out from a mile away. It's time to leave this old-school approach where it belongs--in the past. Lower your tone, slow down, and adopt a more casual and genuine approach to connecting with your prospect.

3. Be an expert.

Whether you realize it yet or not, you're an expert in your industry with a unique bird's-eye-view of trends among your customers. This perspective is extremely valuable to your prospects, so make it a priority to come off as the expert with your prospects in sales meetings. Start by sharing things you've seen work--or not work--for your customers. This will make you an expert in your prospects' eyes, and they'll want to keep the conversation going to learn more from you.

4. Dig into challenges.

Once you've discussed challenges you've observed in the industry, transition to asking prospects about the challenges in their own organizations. List two or three problems you've seen in the industry--problems your product or service can ultimately solve. Then, simply ask, "Do any of these challenges ring true to you?" Prospects want to open up and answer questions about their deepest frustrations, because they're extremely interested in solving them.

5. Discover the cost of key challenges.

After your prospects open up about their challenges, it's time to find out how much those challenges are costing them. Again, this isn't complicated. Try asking, "What would you say these challenges are costing your organization?" This question helps you create more value for your solution--which can also open the door to a bigger budget.

6. Ask about budget.

A lot of old-school sales trainers claim, "Prospects will never give you a budget, so don't bother asking." They're wrong. Once you've established the cost of key challenges, it makes sense to ask, "Now, what are you willing to invest in solving the problem?" This simple approach works and sets you up to ultimately close more sales.

7. Get a commitment.

Before you even present your solution, you should get a commitment from prospects--not necessarily to working with you, but to solving their problem. Not all challenges are equal in the eyes of prospects. Just because they've shared a problem they're facing doesn't mean they're ready to invest in a solution. Make sure you get that commitment before you move onto your proposal.

8. Don't be afraid to walk away.

The best salespeople don't waste time on prospects who aren't a good fit. You can expect at least 50% of prospects to be a bad fit. Perhaps they don't have enough money, don't face the challenges you solve, or won't make the solution a priority right now. That's OK. Accept it, and then move on to your ideal prospects instead.

9. Schedule the next step before you leave.

In every meeting you have, schedule the next meeting or conversation before it's over. It's as simple as that.

Which of these simple steps have you been missing in your sales meetings? What will you do differently moving forward? Share your plans in the comments below.

Published on: Apr 13, 2017
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