Did you blow your first sales meeting with that long-sought-after executive client? You’ve got that sinking feeling that the session did not go well despite your lengthy preparation. It was a “thumbs-down” rating from the very start and there were no tips from your executive sales training program on how to deal with an unexpected reaction that seemed out of your control.
Can you recover?
Here is some advice from seasoned sales executives who have been battered and bruised by the arbitrariness of executive sales call first impressions that went bad.
· Is a second chance worth the effort? First weigh the upside of trying to recover from a bad first impression. Then think through the meeting from beginning to end to evaluate when and where and how things went south. Talk through your recollections with a teammate who can help you see things objectively. It may not be as bad as you think. But is the potential business and re-branding worth the effort?
· Understand that your best chance at changing the executive’s impression of you is in person. Your competence and character must shine through to shift how they view you – this is difficult to accomplish remotely after a bad start.
· Try to understand what your client is looking for in a potential partner. This is not the time to push yourself but to slow down so you can assess the dynamics of your meeting. Are you and your company a good fit?Be confident but not overbearing. Eat a little humble pie and be grateful for a chance to undo the negative feelings and to build a positive relationship.