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Mastering the World of Selling: The Ultimate Training Resource from the Biggest Names in Sales by David Riklan, Erik Taylor

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Chapter 69. The Up-Front Contract: Adding Control and Predictability to Your Sales Calls

David H. Sandler

Sandler Training

Has this happened to you?

You schedule an appointment with a prospect who seems to be very interested in your product. You painstakingly prepared a number of questions for the prospect to help you more completely identify and qualify the potential opportunity.

You arrive at the appointment, and before you can ask your first question, the prospect, who was cordial and enthusiastic when you spoke on the phone, assaults you with, "I don't have a lot of time. Show me whatcha got."

What happened?

If you want to add control and predictability to your sales calls and avoid unfulfilled expectations for you and your prospect, you must establish an up-front "contract" with your prospects. The up-front contract is simply an agreement between you and the prospect about what will take place during the meeting. It should describe the objective of the meeting, the amount of time allocated for the meeting, the roles and responsibilities of each party in reaching the objective, and the intended outcome of the meeting. You can think of it as a detailed agenda. It is a guidepost to keep the meeting focused and on track.

Excerpted from You Can't Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar: Sandler Training's 7-Step System for Successful Selling, by David H. Sandler. © 1995 by David H. Sandler. All rights reserved.

Let's examine the up-front contract that could have been established when the ...

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