People get flummoxed when, at the end of a call, there’s no clear next step. The best way to counter the “What’s Going to Happen Next” fear is to say something like, “So what are next steps?” or “I think this was a great call. Let’s schedule a call to follow up and address the three or four things that we didn’t get to in this meeting.”
The way to get the next meeting is to ask for it. Once you’re at the point where you are engaged, the client is no longer on their home turf. They’re suddenly walking through your value proposition and playing on your field.
You have to be the leader to get your prospects where you want them to go. It might feel weird asking for the next call if they haven’t expressed interest or desire, but it must be done.
Think of asking for the next meeting as a trial close. If they don’t say, “Yes, that’s a great idea” or they don’t commit to the next meeting, there probably isn’t going to be one. Use that request for a next meeting, or a discussion around next steps, as an indication that you have earned the right, that you’ve opened the gate to the next phase of engagement,
Don’t forgo the opportunity of someone saying “yes” because you are afraid that they’re going to say “no.” If they do say “no,” you don’t have to think about them anymore. You can move on to the next person who’s going to say “yes.”
Make sure to ask questions. “Have I made myself understood here? Do you have any questions about what I’ve talked about? Here we are at the end of the first meeting. What’s your normal process? How do you decide whether or not it’s worth a second call?” That way you’re turning the call into a discussion rather than a confrontation.
If you don’t get the meeting, you need to go back and re-evaluate exactly how you approached it to see where the potential missed steps might be. It’s completely okay after a week, or two, or three to reach back to your prospect and say, “Hey, I thought we were headed down the right path. Can you tell me why we didn’t have that second meeting? No sour grapes. I just really want to know how I can improve my process.” I would say half the time people give you feedback, and about a quarter of the time it’s really insightful.