Setting an agreement on what will happen next is something we do every day. It is something we do naturally in most cases without even thinking about it. Why is this important and how can we leverage it in a business setting?
It is spring baseball season. Before every baseball game the umpire meets with the two team captains on the field. They talk about the rules-what constitutes a home run, where the foul lines are, etc. because every field is different. They are setting the rules of the game to avoid any arguments or issues while the game is in play. They are setting the expectations with each team and getting mutual consent before they proceed with the actual game.
What would happen if we set the ground rules and expectations for our meetings in advance and what would that look like? Here are three objectives of setting expectations:
1. Set an agenda- Agree upon how much time, purpose and outcomes for the meeting.
2. Take control-Show your professionalism and have a plan. Only one person can control the meeting, and you want it to be you.
3. Lower defenses-Make your prospect feel comfortable with you because they know what to expect and what will happen next. Be different from every other salesperson.
This concept is not only important before we meet with a customer or prospect, but sometimes during or at the end of a meeting. It is valuable that we make sure that both you and the prospect agree to the outcome for each stage of the selling process and next phase. This is important to level the playing field between prospect and salesperson. At this stage we are able to have adult conversations that lead to a long lasting partnership. Don’t throw those expectations out the window. Use them to hit a home run!