When a prospect agrees to meet with you, it’s vital that you respect the time you’ve been given. Let’s say your prospect is a busy C-Level executive and she’s agreed to meet with you for 15 minutes. The first thing you should do is prepare your topics of discussion, making sure that you can convey your value proposition in under 15 minutes, with a few minutes to spare for questions. During the actual meeting, do not go past your allotted time.
One of our Efficiency Sales Professional Boot Camp graduates once told me that he actually sets his watch to buzz a couple minutes before the end of the agreed-upon meeting time. He then says something like, “Oh, I see our time is almost up. That went by so quickly! Are you okay to speak for a little longer?” This demonstrates a great respect for his prospect’s time. It not only shows his professionalism, but it also helps build rapport with his prospect.
Now, you don’t necessarily have to go so far as to set a timer during the meeting; however, you should certainly acknowledge that the meeting time is almost up. You could say something like, “I don’t want to monopolize your time today. Is this topic interesting to you? Would you like to learn more?” This gives your prospect a comfortable way to end the meeting if he or she does in fact have somewhere else to be. And in the event that your prospect is interested and can afford to extend the meeting, you’ve opened that door.
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