One call does not do it all

Most sales take more than one conversation. So why is the first meeting the only one that gets its own presentation?

If you’re selling a complex solution, you should have a playbook that maps the entire sales cycle including what to cover in each call — promising and delivering value in every interaction, until you’ve walked the prospect to their happy buying place.

Let’s look at how to stay on track beyond the first call


Map the journey

Review your past wins and losses and identify the key points where your deal tracks diverge between success and failure. What is the key issue that gets people to say yes to the next meeting? These steps should form the basis of your sales playbook and should map to your Opportunity stages.   

Promise and deliver value in each interaction

You’re asking your customer to invest their time with you. Spend it sharing something about their industry that only you know, but that will help them in their daily job (and make sure it’s something you can help them with later with your solution). That’s just commercial teaching 101.

The twist here is to make sure you keep delivering value in every interaction, and to end each interaction with an explicit promise of more value next time.

Share where you’re headed together

Towards the end of your first meeting, show that you know this isn’t a one-call decision by setting some expectations on where the conversation is going to go. If you know there’s typically going to be five interactions before the close, just share the next one or two so you don’t scare them off.

DON’T: Try to cram everything into one call

Yes, you need to demonstrate that your solution has value from the get-go, but if you put every one of your eggs into the first call’s basket, then (a) you’re going to overwhelm your prospect with TMI and (b) you have nothing of value for your follow up calls.

Put faith in your playbook. If you know that 90% of your sales take 5 interactions, stay cool in that first call and give them the exact amount of detail they need to say yes to the second call.