How To Keep the Initiative

alt text image of two hands touching to two wiresThere are dozens of reasons that your dream client opportunity may stall. Winning deals requires keeping your opportunities from stalling, and that means keeping the initiative.

Find a Reason to Stay In Front, But Make Sure You Create Value

Keeping your opportunity from stalling means staying in front of your dream client, linking one commitment to the next commitment.

You make it easy to say yes to future commitments only when you create value on the sales call. If you don’t create value, and if you are perceived as a time waster, you make it impossibly hard for your client to allow you stay in front of them.

Staying in front of your dream client means making sure that the commitments that you ask them to make create value for them. You need to have a compelling value proposition for every sales call and every commitment. In order to stay in front of your dream client, you have to be able to very clearly describe what your dream client will gain from spending their time with you.

To keep the initiative, you have to stay in front of your dream client making sure every interaction is a meaningful, value-creating event.

Don’t Leave Without an Advance

There is never a reason to leave a meeting without a follow up meeting scheduled. Doing so is a surefire way to allow your deal to stall.

Your dream client will never be more available to discuss your next meeting than when they are sitting right in front of you. If you want to avoid having to leave unreturned voice mail message after unreturned voice mail message, unanswered email after unanswered email, unconfirmed calendar invitation after unconfirmed calendar invitation, then you must open your calendar while you are sitting right in front of your dream client; and you have to ask them to open their calendar.

You will never have a greater opportunity or a greater likelihood of obtaining an appointment then when you are sitting right in front of your dream client. If you want a commitment that advances your opportunity, ask for it while you are still in your meeting.

The initiative is yours, as long as you make the choice to act and to ask for what you need to advance your opportunity.

Make Sure They Know You Want It

In sales, absence does not make the heart grow fonder; it makes your dream client go wander.

The combination of appointments that create value, the commitments that advance the sale, and the attention that makes up your full court press, lets your dream client know how much you want to work with them. It lets your dream client know how much you care.

Your dream client perceives the long periods of time with no commitments and nothing that advances your opportunity as an indication that you are not as engaged as you might be. Your absence creates an opening that your competitors can—and will—step into if you let them.

Keeping the initiative means making sure your dream client knows that you want their business, that you are taking action to move towards helping them with their most pressing business challenges, and, by doing so, making it unnecessary for them to spend time with your competitors.


    1. What causes your opportunities to stall? What causes you to lose the initiative?

    1. How do you link commitments to commitments and ensure that you create value on each and every sales call? Do you have a written value proposition for every sales call that allows you to create a compelling reason for your dream client to commit to spending time with you?

    1. In the past, you have left sales calls without scheduling your next sales meeting. Has it ever been easier to schedule a follow-up appointment after you have left the meeting? What do you believe to be the benefit of leaving and trying to schedule an appointment later? What do you have to do to prevent from struggling to get an appointment after leaving your dream client’s site, avoiding unanswered telephone calls, emails, and calendar invitations?

    1. How do you make sure that your dream clients know that you are serious about helping them obtain the outcomes that they need? How do you believe your dream clients perceive long periods without any communication from you or any meaningful communications?

  1. What can you do to keep to the initiative and prevent deals from stalling?

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