You’ve met with a great potential client—a female business owner who has a stellar reputation around the community. You discussed her situation and asked all the right questions. You came up with a valuable plan, and she seemed to be on board. You provided her with the detailed breakdown of fees, references, and the accounts custodian. You have the next meeting scheduled, and …
The client postpones the meeting. You receive an email saying that she has not reviewed the information you provided.
Does this situation sound familiar to you? It’s frustrating and time consuming. But how can you prevent clients from dragging their feet?
Simple Evaluation Plan to Drive the Sales Process
Keith Eades, author of “The New Solution Selling: The Revolutionary Sales Process that is Changing the Way People Sell,” taught me that as a salesperson, it’s vital to guide clients along in a way that promotes accountability from both parties.
While navigating your business and your clients’ needs, use an evaluation plan as the road map. An evaluation plan is a step-by-step checklist outlining each milestone, dates and the party responsible for taking action. The evaluation plan keeps the process on track and helps prospects understand what’s expected at each step.
Here is a sample evaluation plan:
Utilizing a plan also helps you to understand where you stand with prospective clients. If they accept the evaluation plan, you can be more confident that the sale is moving forward. If prospects aren’t ready to move forward, it is unlikely that they’d agree to set the plan into motion.
If prospects modify and make changes to the plan, that’s an even better sign. This means they are fully engaged in the process and feel confident about the next steps. Use this organizational tool to encourage prospects to own the plan and take charge of the process. The more involved clients feel they are, the greater the likelihood that they engage with YOU.
Start utilizing evaluation plans to keep your prospects from dragging their feet. Take note as to which steps in the plan are more troubling for clients and try to advise accordingly.