strategic consultant to:  

~ serial CEOs & CTOs in software, Internet, technology & digital media
~ experienced consultants in all fields to maximize their practices

I heard Vince Thompson of Middleshift speak recently on a panel at Amplify.LA, where we are both mentors.  He offered some fine tactics for successful selling that I want to share here. He told us ~

Selling is done is steps:  get each small step completed, then move to the next. In a short phone call or email, take these steps:

  • ask for a short (20 minute) F2F meeting (or phone call, if that is appropriate).
  • offer 2-3 days and time-ranges that can work for you, so your prospect can respond quickly and simply.  Or, offer something general, as in “Tuesday or Friday afternoon this week.”  Commit and confirm the time and day and location (wherever is easiest for the prospect).
  • Keep that meeting short, after brief opening friendly talk, move quickly to the point of the meeting, and ask for the next step.  What do you want and why do you want it?  A pilot program?  A scheduled time to demo to the prospect’s IT or Sales department?  A referral or introduction to someone?
  • Follow up with whatever will make that request easier to implement.  Send it as soon as you can.
  • Smile.  Keep a smile in your voice whenever prospecting or selling.  It matters that folks hear this energy.
  • With each level of your selling cycle, keep these ideas in mind.

Another interesting idea came from that evening:  Put your request at the beginning of the email.  Then justify or add additional information to support your request.  Lots of folks read “above the fold” or scan and may not get to your request at the bottom of the message.

I always put the critical information above the fold.  And I go one step further — I use indented bullets for every issue that requires an answer.  And often I get all the answers at once.

  • So, do you have other selling tactics to share in the comments section here?