Book a meeting from a meeting and watch your sales numbers grow.
The motto “B.A.M.F.A.M.” has become ubiquitous in our office because one of our team members, Alisha, has used it religiously for years. This catchy acronym stands for “book a meeting from a meeting.”
In other words, if you are in a sales appointment, you should almost always ask for the next meeting while you are still in that meeting. Waiting until after the meeting ends often devolves into a game of email and phone tag, an extended back-and-forth exchange of dates and times mixed with delays in responses on both sides, which push the possible sale farther and farther into the future.
If you insist on the B.A.M.F.A.M. philosophy, you can cover that ground quickly during the meeting itself and have the next step of your sales process in play before you hang up the phone or leave the prospect’s office. We push this idea so much that our salespeople and many of our clients have started to write “BAMFAM” on their meeting notes to remind themselves to ask for the next appointment.
We emphasize this idea because based on our experience with our advisor clients and on our multi-industry sales experience, we estimate that salespeople ask for the next meeting less than 50 percent of the time. Our most dire estimates come in at 25 percent.
You should be asking for the next meeting in 90 percent of your appointments, with the remaining 10 percent being unique sales circumstances or the odd prospect who you simply don’t want to do business with (you know what kind of prospect I mean).
Why people don’t BAMFAM
When you ask for the next appointment, good things happen, and most salespeople already recognize that. Why, then, do we avoid asking for the next meeting? Here are the top four reasons salespeople do not B.A.M.F.A.M.:
- They feel as if the sales meeting went poorly and are embarrassed to ask to continue the conversation. Sometimes this is true. The meeting did not go well, but often, the prospect does not share the same feeling as the salesperson; so, he should ask regardless.
- They fear rejection. Asking for the second meeting can mean opening the door to the no. As frustrating as chasing a prospect after a meeting can be, it is not as final as the prospect declining directly to meet with you again. While it is true that rejection can be painful, an early no can save you a great deal of time, which can be reinvested in prospects who might say yes.
- They are tired. A long sales meeting is draining, and your best practices might start to slip as you near the close of the conversation. Finishing strong is important in sales; so, if you find yourself falling into the tired trap, wake up and B.A.M.F.A.M.
- Their ego gets the best of them. Just as we use poor performance as an excuse to not ask for the next meeting, we can use a great meeting as an excuse as well. When it appears as if the conversation went really well, we can begin to assume that the prospect will come to ask us because we are just that good. Even when everything goes perfectly, you need the next meeting to close the sale; so, ask for it.
As corny as it might sound to turn something like B.A.M.F.A.M. into a verb, the corniness can help you to remember to do it. Say it to your team members. Write it on post-it notes. Put it on your meeting agenda before you start a sale. When you continue to reinforce the idea and bring your B.A.M.F.A.M. percentage up from 25 to 90 percent, you will see your sales numbers climb.
Make B.A.M.F.A.M. a part of your sales process and culture today! I say this because it reframes the moment we should be trying to build for our prospects.