When a salesperson invites you or any other company expert to a prospect meeting, your goal should be to pitch in when your expertise is needed and avoid the temptation to hog the spotlight.
Salespeople love bringing experts on their sales calls—and for very obvious reasons. Most notably, assembling a team of experts and unleashing them on a prospect often illustrates the depth of your company’s expertise and communicates the viability of your business.
Naturally, you might assume that showering your company’s prospects with that attention would help your sales reps close more deals. But it doesn’t always work out that way. In fact, the strategy frequently backfires.
Think about it: Technical experts boast impressive knowledge and often overshadow sales reps the minute they begin drawing on a whiteboard. Similarly, sales managers have the authority to approve special conditions that sales reps cannot, while business owners are the ultimate experts—the thought leaders who understand the business better than anyone else.
When a salesperson introduces one of those experts to a contact, prospects are naturally drawn to those aficionados. After all, experts are experts for a reason—they’re confident, strong-willed people who deeply understand their domain and, consequently, command attention and respect.
Unfortunately, these experts sometimes fail to realize that by taking control of a sales meeting, they’re also diluting the “expert” reputation of the salesperson—a reputation that’s essential to moving sales forward.
So, how can you (business owners, sales managers, technical experts, etc.) avoid usurping that expertise? To ensure your sales reps maintain prospect relationships in meetings, make sure you allow sales reps to:
- Open the meeting
- Build rapport and lead the small talk before the meeting begins
- Set the meeting’s agenda
- Summarize the background that led to the meeting
- Explain your role in the meeting
- Ask business situation-related questions
- Handle concerns that aren’t related to your expertise
- Summarize the next steps when the meeting ends
- Set the timeframe for the next meeting
- Close the meeting
Essentially, when a salesperson invites you or any other company expert to a sales meeting, pitch in when your expertise is needed and avoid the temptation to hog the spotlight.
If you have any doubts during a sales meeting about how to proceed, default to your sales person and allow them to take the lead. It won’t hurt your expert status and it will ultimately help your sales rep more effectively close opportunities.