Like everyone else who has ever held a purchasing position, I experience varying degrees of annoyance at getting requests for meetings without a compelling reason. I find Jill’s approach quite interesting. Here are a few of my thoughts…
1. I like Jill’s suggestion about pre-call research. If every salesperson followed this suggestion, this would force the sales person to pre-qualify themselves, rather than you having that responsibility.
2. You could even consider using Jill’s suggestion to adopt criteria to accept or decline requests for appointments. If the salesperson doesn’t specify how they will help you solve a problem or achieve an objective, they don’t get the appointment. Period.
3. If you do adopt some type of criteria for whether or not to grant an appointment, you also have to consider the category of products or services being presented. You have your goals and strategies for a given year. If sourcing for a certain category does not fit within your strategy, you have to decline the appointment, irrespective of how well the salesperson presents their value proposition. Maybe their solution is for next year’s problem. Don’t lose focus. You have limited resources, so don’t scatter yourself.
All in all, I’ve found it quite interesting to read Jill’s approach. I hope that you have, too. Her’s is a lot better than the approach used by other sales trainers who focus on borderline manipulation.