After and Before2

By Tibor Shanto -

Note pad

In a business that emphasizes relationship as much as sales does, it is sometimes interesting to see the degree to which sales people, and buyers, tend to ignore, overlook and at times avoid some basic components of human interactions, and way to enhance those interactions and the impact of that on business and sales outcomes.

Michael Jordan once said:

“…You have to monitor your fundamentals constantly, because the only thing that changes will be your attention to them”

This statement is as true in sales as it is in basketball. Sometime those fundamentals seem simple and inconsequential, but in the end it is often those little things that make the difference. Remember that your product is often indistinguishable from those of your competitor’s, so the way YOU sell may often be the differentiator that clinches the deal. So let’s focus on two seemingly small things, that when executed consistently and well, after and before meetings with buyers, will win you deals, no matter other factors. And while these may seem small, do them and then judge the results.


After every meeting you should send a note, what most will call a thank you note, but done right it can be so much more.

Few send thank you notes anymore, I know that when I am the prospect, if I get a thank you note, it is so rare, I take notice, and mentally give the sender bonus points, points that may take them ahead of the other vendors. A hand written note, will just blow their mind. But more than a thank you note, it is an opportunity for you to recap what you took away from the meeting, action items everyone agreed to, and most important, what you propose the Next Step to be.

If you and the buyer synch on all of these points, then the note will just cement things in their mind, along with you being the vendor who helped them do that. If you took away different understandings, it is to your advantage to find that out now, and make any course adjustments you need to make. Better to correct things now than go into the next meeting with different ideas; if you can’t correct them, better to find out now than after investing more time and resources.

As well by introducing what you think the next step should be, you get them thinking about it, and again, if they don’t disagree, you are on the right path, but if not, you can deal with it now, not later.


About a business day ahead of the next meeting, send in a n agenda, nothing deep or heavy, three or five points (odd numbered lists are better), AND, what you would propose as the Next Step, if things unfold according to the agenda. As above, if things are on track, you can go in with some sense of confidence that you are on the right path. If not, better to know well in advance of the meeting than at the end when it may be too late to do anything about it. Same goes for the Next Step, if they can’t live with your suggestion they’ll speak up, and while it may not be what you had planned, better again to know early than after the fact.

While neither may appear to be all that and more, when you first read them, execute them consistently and it won’t be long before you attribute deals directly to executing these steps.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto  

It's time to get Bricked!

What’s there to think about? – Sales eXchange 2170

By Tibor Shanto -


Many sales people will tell you that one of the most common and frustrating objections they get from prospects, is “Let me think about it, I’ll be back to you”. It has enough optimism in it to suggest there may be some hope or opportunity, but not enough substance to make it useful. In the end “thinking is not the same as acting” and at the time you get this objection, what we need is action, anything less than that is second or third prize, not good enough for winners.

To manage this and deal with this objection, (and yes managing and dealing with objections are two different things), you have to adopt a number of different approaches, and act on parallel plains and modes.

First, get real, anything other than a yes, is a no, and deal with it as such. Doesn’t matter how sincere the delivery, if it is not “Yes”, it is no. If you accept that as your mantra, it will guide your interactions and actions with potential buyers, and inform you meeting objectives and execution.

Do you know what you want out of the meeting before going in? Without a definitive “Next Step Strategy”, it is hard to get commitment. You need a plan A, B, and C, this allows you to formulate a structure for the meeting, ask the right questions to help uncover the buyer’s objectives, opportunities and potential barriers. Understand how you can help minimize or remove the hurdles and accelerate their opportunities. In the process you deal with the buyer’s response, and respond accordingly explain and continue to execute the meeting in a “proper” way, and they say, “I need to think about it”. You either had the wrong plan, wrong execution, or wrong buyer.

Ask yourself whether you had engagement – no engagement most often leads to no commitment, no matter how good the plan. Even when you have the right plan, and get the above right, it comes down to executing the meeting right and creating engagement. While it is be true that it may take time to build a real relationship, and real trust, it starts with engagement. You can tell when a prospect is engaged in the meeting, this why you have a plan A, B and C, so you can explore in multiple ways. If after all that, they still need to think about it, is this really an opportunity NOW, or is it something that MAY happen later, after they had a chance to think, and you miss your quarter. It may be time to look for another prospect.

Do you have other prospects? That is the one of the hidden questions. If you have a funnel full of viable prospects, would one “I need to think about it”, be such a big deal? No, you would move on to the next one, one willing to act. Now if everyone wants to think about it, no matter how many prospects you meet with, then you need to look at the above points. But if you need four deals a month, and you close one of every four prospects, it is really simple. If you have 16 or more prospects a month, and you continue to close 4, and two or three say “I need to think about it”, would you be fussed? On the other hand, if you have eight prospects and three say they need to think, well, problem. Sometimes the easiest way to overcome the challenge is to build in choice by building your prospect base. Think about that.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

Open Ended Sales Meetings?4

By Tibor


Not long ago I posted a piece about the positive side of “closed ended” questions, and their place in the sale cycle.  As with many things it is rarely the case of one versus the other but more of which is more appropriate for the scenario, and in sales for achieving the objective you set out to accomplish.

Sellers can and should take the concept of open ended and closed ended, and apply it to actual sales meetings.  What you’ll find is that sales meeting properly executed should be more of a closed ended event, but all too often they end up being an open ended, in fact too open-ended, often becoming ever meandering affairs.  The kind meeting which seem like they may never end, especially when you add a torturous layer of PowerPoint; or they end without a specific conclusion or direction.  The meetings which follow frequently seem to be another try at getting it right, instead of moving things forward.

The problem usually comes down to what the objective is going into the meeting.  I have written in the past about sales people not having a handle on the length of their sales cycle, saying things like “It depends”, or offering an unrealistic “oh 3 – 6 months”; that’s a big variable given that time is your most precious resources, and non-renewable to boot.   Taken a step further and asking them how many meetings it may take to close the deal, they answer with less confidence and more ambiguity.

Well if you don’t know how many meetings it may take, (live or by phone, webinar, smoke signals), it becomes really hard to have specific outcomes or objectives for each meeting.  This is why sellers at time lose control of meetings, leaving the client to take the meeting to a conclusion, one with no real next step.

Knowing what you want out of each meeting allows you to plan objectives, primary and secondary, plan next steps, and build a structure for the meeting, including questions, that will help you and the buyer meet mutual objectives.  Absent that, it begins to look like an experience with the “Be found” camp, having  abdicate their role as sellers,  they are hoping the buyer will find something to continue for, something to buy.  I propose they are hoping the client has a need, hoping they can strike a relationship based on something other than the buyer’s objective, hoping for the order.

Having clear objectives, measures and next steps defined and planned in advance will also allow you to do one other thing with great confidence, that is disqualify buyers.  If you cannot achieve your stated objective, having executed your plan, you have to seriously consider that you are not dealing with a real buyer, real like the ones who buy when you achieve your mutually stated objectives.

I remember working with a “rock star” in Boston, he confidently told me his deals on average take four meetings, great, what was his measure of success for the first meeting, his objective? With expected bravado, he proclaimed “to close the deal man!”  He did not have an answers as to why he bothered going back three other times if he was going to close the sale during the first meeting.  Although there is a prospect I have, who will never buy from me, but he loves the same bands I do, and makes a great espresso, I love going there, but I leave my order pad in the car.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

That’s Not A Next Steps – Sales eXchange 16665

Sales and selling is made up of a lot of elements, of moving parts and actions, we can discuss and debate which is more important, when is it better to focus on one or the other, but I hope we can agree that time, intent and persuasion play a major role throughout.  By persuasion I am not looking exclusively at the seller persuading the buyer of his product, but in the sense of advising, assuaging, as well as people within the buying organization persuading others to get involved, commit, what have you.

Central to all three, in the need for action, specific steps that have to be taken together with the buyer to arrive at a mutually beneficial point where the buyer acquires your goods, and you get a sale.  This is why Next Steps become important.  As I was taught a long time ago, and it still holds in these 2.0 days, the only indication of interest is action, talk is cheap, action is the only measure of interest.

Given the importance of Next Steps, I am always surprised by two things, one how many sales people do not have a next step in their “sales”; second, how many people confuse a plan or a wish with a Next Step.   Just so we are on the same page, let me tell you what I consider a Next Step, it has three non-negotiable attributes: “a Mutually Agreed on Act (action) by both parties, to be completed by a Specified Time, to Specifically Move the Sale Forward.”  Worth looking at again, because so many get it wrong or avoid key parts.

Mutually Agreed – You would not believe how many sellers consider their Next Step a state secret, for some reason they do not want to share it with their prospect at all.  As them what their Next Step is, and they tell, ask them when they and the prospect will do that, and they’ll tell you they haven’t talk to the prospect about it yet, they plan to call them tomorrow.  Well that’s a plan, may be a great plan, but just a plan; some will say they hope to tell them next week, (when you ask when next week, they tell you they still need to set the time).  Now you know what they say about a hope not being a plan, and in my world a plan is not a Next Step.  So take your plan, share it with the buyer, persuade them why it makes sense to them and the process, and get a commitment.

All too many sale people spend more time persuading themselves and their managers that they actually have something when they don’t, rather than persuading the buyer to act on the Next Step.

Specified Time – If you are going to execute the sale within the normal cycle, you need to ensure that things are moving forward in a predictable time frame.  To do that, you need to get agreement from the buyer not only on the steps you will both take, but when they will be completed.  This not only important for sales velocity, but prevent competitors from buzzing about and spoiling your party.  If they are moving towards a deadline, they will be focused on the deadline, if they have no focus, they will have time to look around.   When you present your Next Step, include a time, a reasonable time, but get commitment on the time.  Think back to when you were sitting around waiting for a prospect to get you something you need, did you give them a deadline or just ask them to get it to you?

Move the Sale Forward – You want to make sure that these actions build the foundation for a sale, they move things towards the ultimate goal, if not, then what is the point?  I have seen too many instances where sellers asked for and got things that neither engaged the buyer and their organization, or move the process forward.  Your sales cycle is like a journey with a time line, with specified resources to get from point A to point B.  If you spend time going in circles for a day or two, you are not moving forward, and very much squandering resources and time that could yield more positive results elsewhere, or if you and the buyer took mutual steps moving this sales forward.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

Just The Facts!38

Sometimes pipeline reviews can be more of a bother than they need be, both for reps and managers.  The nature of the reviews that we do are part of a multi-touch approach to understanding what’s in the pipe, what needs to happen (be done) next either to move the deal forward, or replace with an opportunity that will move forward.  Looking at the upside, downside, and planned next step if, the next meeting goes as planned.  To further simplify it and keep it clean, we only want to look at meetings in the immediate week, with many clients requiring a minimum number per week.

Simple straight forward, and most importantly no room or time for stories.  Assuming you have everything required, it takes about five minutes per rep, even with a team of eight reps, in – out and done in less than 45 minutes.

Unfortunately the assumption is not always correct.  Mostly it falls down in two areas, first, having the required number of opportunities.  Some don’t like this, but it is simple, if your closing ratio is 5 to 1, and you need to deliver 5 deals a month, you are going to need to either improve your closing ratio, or engage with 25 potential prospects.  Even if you focus on improving your close ratio to say 3 to 1, still need 15 opportunities.  A simple question of working backwards from your goal to understand the activity level you need through the cycle and in each stage. 

Second, is a lack of a real next step.  As discussed in previous posts, a next step needs to have a couple of basic but non-negotiable elements.  They need to be agreed on by both the buyer and you, and they need to have a time frame.  “We will meet to review this on Tuesday at 11:00 in order to finalize the floor plan and order the braces”, or “”we will have a conference call Friday at 2:00, with you and the engineer to finalize the specs for…”, or as simple as “we will meet Wednesday at 10:00 to present final proposal”.  Concrete, clear, and MUTUALLY AGREED ON.  But often what you get is what people think they should do next, things they have yet to present to buyer.  Remember a plan is great, action is even better.

When you have the two above, the reviews are quick and productive.  When you don’t, it becomes long, winding and unproductive, especially for those who do have their act together.

The ones who don’t, know they are fooling no one, least of all themselves, they have nothing or little to fill the pipe.  And in trying to fill the void, they try to fill it with words, stories.  Stories that meander everywhere but to a point or opportunity.  This stretches the time, and makes the meeting longer again.

A pipeline review is just that, what’s in the pipeline, not a never ending story going back to Adam and Eve.  There are other opportunities to do a deep dive deal by deal, I think they call that a deal review.  If you don’t have the requisite opportunities to discuss, there is no need to make up for it with unrelated words, just stick to what you have, just the facts.

Execution – Everything Else is Just Talk!
Tibor Shanto

Not Only Is Talk Cheap But Misleading32

Effective communication is crucial to sales success, understanding what the client wants, how they prefer those wants addressed, and understanding what they mean, can tilt things for you or against you.  But communication is way more than the words exchanged between buyer and seller, as we all have been told communication is 60% body language, 30% intonation and tone, and only 10% verbal or words.  Yet many sales people rely too much on strictly words, both in conveying their message, and taking input from potential buyers, almost completely ignoring the other aspects of communication.

This has obvious repercussions when it comes to effective selling, and ensuring you are getting the right message to the listener in the right way.  Borrowing from the work relating to how people learn, because getting someone to change and buy from us is an exercise in educating the buyer; there are three types of learning styles: visual, auditory and kinesthetic (or tactile).   Buyers tend to fall into one of three groups when they take in, understand and absorb your message.  If you do not take steps to ensure you are incorporating all three types, you risk not fully communicating to many buyers even as you speak to them. 

Read On…

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

Are You A Sales Hoarder?114

A few weeks back I posted about how good sales people are prone to Attention deficit disorder (ADD), well it turns there is another popular condition that many sales professionals suffer in silence, namely hoarding.  While not a new, hoarding has come to the fore as a result of recent coverage on TV, and while sales people may look and see themselves as different, many are indeed hoarders.  You can see evidence of this in two important areas.

First, their pipelines; don’t get me wrong having a full pipeline is a good thing, but it needs to be full of the right things, opportunities, not clutter.  But some sales people are reluctant to get rid of any opportunities once in the pipeline, not matter how old, unreal, or how much mold it has on it.  It is almost like they are living a role in a Monty Python movie, every prospect is sacred, not to be removed.

Every sales person should have a mechanisms for cleaning (or in some cases flushing) out their pipelines, getting rid of deals that are not going to happen.  Specifically not going to happen now, meaning in the current cycle, or next.   Yes, many will happen in the future, six months, a year from now, but they don’t belong in the pipeline now.  You should nurture them somewhere other than where you are dealing with active, engaged buyers.

There two things you can use to gauge when it’s time to pull an opportunity from your pipe, first is the buyer’s engagement, are they actively engaged in the sales cycle, or dispassionate observers.  Are you able to consistently secure the “next step” you need; specific time bound actions they need to take to move matters forward.  Regardless of what they may say, are their actions supporting the lip service, because if they are not, than it just leaves the service part; no action = no interest = out of the pipe.  Time is the second factor, if something is taking longer than it should, it is likely not taking at all.  That applies to the sub-stages of the cycle as well, if it is taking you too long to gather the information you need to move the sale forward, take it out of the pipeline, and revisit it down the road.  Of course the challenge is that if you take an opportunity out, you have to prospect to replace it; I guess it is easier to live with the clutter than to prospect for new opportunities.

Set up guidelines for removing stale opportunities, leaving you to deal with only those that are viable.  Yes they may be fewer, but at least they are real and closable.  You may feel better with a fuller pipeline, but the clutter is just keeping you from seeing and realizing the real good stuff hidden by your hoarding.  One company I worked had relatively short cycle, 45 days, they had a rule that if an opportunity did not have a real next step for more than 14 days, it was removed from the pipeline.  This kept things focused, opportunities were qualified or disqualified, closing the former, revisiting the latter.

The second area where you see strong evidence of hoarding is in their approach to territories.  Sales people want to hold on to every account they can, and add as many as their eyes can see.  Even though the reality is that they can only cover so many effectively.  Time after time we see scenarios where the top 10 accounts in a rep’s territory accounts for up to 60% – 80% of their revenue base, if you look at the top 20, that number is even bigger.  Reps we survey often never get around to directly touching accounts beyond their top 30, leaving accounts 31 and above, lonely, abandoned, and ignored.  Well not quite alone, your competitor is likely calling on them when you are not.  So why not let someone else in your company cover them properly, and you focus on growing your top 30, OK stop sniffling, top 40.

But no, the hoarding class just wants to add more accounts and geography, as though it represents some form of wealth.  Company after company that take the smarter course, and shrink territories to create focus and growth, succeed; where as those who give in to the hoarders, don’t grow as well, have client satisfaction issues, and reps whom despite the size of their empire do not meet revenue or coverage targets.

Just like the hoarders on TV, sales hoarders are victims of their own actions, not wealthy collectors, just lost in a clutter of their own making.  Once their houses are de-cluttered, and they get the help they need, they live quite well with not so much less, but the right amount of belongings; or in the case of sales, the right pipeline.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

Making Your Monday Sales Meeting Meaningful – Sales eXchange 15584

Your Monday morning sales meeting needs to set the tone for the week, the successes, challenges and activity required to move prospects forward between now and Friday, thus making the week contribute to a successful quarter.  Here are a few simple to implement steps you can take to assure this.

First, keep it short focused and on track.  Monday morning is prime time, sales professionals ready to go, having had the weekend to decompress, buyers are also looking to make their mark on the week ahead, the last thing you want to have is your meeting take steam, drive and the spring out of team’s step.  The traditional, laborious never ending Monday morning meeting is like Black Death for you A Players, slightly less painful for your B Players; only your C Players see it as a good use of time as they will look for anything to avoid prospecting or selling.  The meeting should last no longer than the equivalent of 5 minutes for each rep on your team, really 5 minutes.

Next make the meeting about the week ahead, not what happened in the past, or things that are not happening at all.  Some still conduct meetings where every opportunity and PROSPECT in the funnel real or not**, is discussed ad infinitum, with those not having fallen asleep looking for rope or other form of mercy.

** So what’s real PROSPECT – and what’s not? Simple if an opportunity has a Next Step, meaning specific agreed on action(s) by both the buyer and a seller that will move the sale forward, with an agreed on time line or deadline, then it is a real PROSPECT.  If it does not have BOTH, it is not real, it is a start, it’s an opportunity, but does not qualify as a PROSPECT.  Something that sounds like “I am going to call him Tuesday”, is not a next step unless it is scheduled and has actions attached; it’s a plan, may be a good plan, but not good enough.  Likewise, “He asked me to call him mid-week to set something up”, is not a next step, and therefore not a PROSPECT.  It may be a good future opportunity, and as soon as you have mutual agreement with the buyer on when and what, you will have a next step and a real PROSPECT.  May seem simple, but a challenging discipline for many to adopt, but once you do you’ll have a more realistic pipeline, as it will be absent of filler and sunshine.

Once you adopt the above, you can then conduct Monday morning meetings looking at specific real PROSPECTS that your team will be interacting with that week, no distractions or far away tales, just real revenue related events.  As well, you don’t need to look at every prospect every week, just a representative sample that tells you the state of the pipeline, and what kind of help you can provide to your team to succeed.  The right ratio of prospect to examine is about 5:1, for every five prospects (real), have the rep discuss one, so if the average number of REAL – ACTIVE – PROSPECTS in you funnel is 25, you have the rep talk to 5, if it is 15, talk to 3, etc.

And when I sat talk, it does not have to be a Tolstoy novel, which is what kills the regular Monday meeting.  Every opportunity, every week, right from the start, sometimes right back to Adam and Eve, no need for that.  Just name rank, and serial number.  Who is the PROSPECT, when is it scheduled (has to be between now and Friday or it doesn’t count), what is the upside if things go right, downside, potential value, any special resources required from the company.  Chick Chack, focused 2 – 4 minutes per prospect, no stories, just the facts.

This will give you a good sense for how each individual rep is doing and the general state of their funnel.  This does not replace the regular talks you have with your reps throughout the week and your daily conversations about their prospects.  You will have deeper knowledge as they review pricing or aspects of the deal, but those don’t need to be part of the Monday meeting.

At the same time, it allows for a tacit transfer of sales and market knowledge among your reps.  After adopting the process, you will find that ideas are exchanged, you get “you know I worked with that type of challenge at XYZ, tried this, and this was the outcome” or “avoid that as it tends to…”  People learn, they contribute and you will find them looking forward to contributing.  You will also find that the stragglers tend to self correct due to peer pressure and that gets them on track, which mean better pipeline.

Think of it if you have six reps, you’re done in 30 minutes, you have a good picture of the state of events, and you have continuous activity driving deals and prospecting.  Remove the cloud from their Monday morning, and you’ll find they are ready to play to win.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

Flaunt Your Next Steps – Sales eXchange – 13711

By now you would think that there are few if any sales people who do not understand the importance of “next steps” in sales.  Whatever you call it, advance, next step, it is crucial to not only moving a sales forward, increasing velocity, and helping you separate buyers from tire kickers and disqualify those who are wasting your time and other resources.

While not all next steps are as good as the next, having one is infinitely more important than not having one.  As a result that next step is the most important thing you can get out of any given meeting.  Now before you start jumping up and down that the most important thing is meeting the needs of the buyer, ask yourself how many buyers would actually give you a next step if in fact they did not perceive value in what you were offering and continuing the process towards the goal of buying.   So yes, the client is number one, and the proof is not in what they say, but the action they are willing to take to make it happen.  This why, the next step is the objective of any interaction with a buyer.  With the objective set, the question then becomes how do you reach it successfully.

One opportunity to improve one’s ability to achieve next steps is to proactively own and bring about that next step.  This is where some in sales who get the importance of next steps, still short change themselves in the way they go about getting that next step from the buyer.  By not making it your main objective for each meeting, leaving it as just one of the things you want out of the meeting, you risk achieving the objective.  Many reps still wait to the end of the meeting to both develop and present the next step to the buyer.

Instead, they should have planning their next step well in advance of the meeting.  In fact they should have a primary next step, a secondary, and where required a tertiary step if need be.  This then allows you to formulate your plan and questions that will help surface the issues and opportunities that will engage the buyer, and help him/her understand how your offering will impact their specific situation.

Of course, to know, or anticipate what the issues to pursue are, you will need to review the deals you have been involved in.  Not just your wins, but also your losses and those that ended in no decisions, all of which can be captured and catalogued using your deal review process or tool.  Having that will give prepare you to not only help the buyer get involved and engaged, but also move the meeting in the direction of the logical next step, as demonstrated by market experience.  Knowing your destination going in will help you execute a structured meeting, and deliver value to both the buyer and your company.

Finally, there is no upside to keeping the next step a secret, especially as you are moving through the sales versus a first call.  In advance of going to a meeting with a buyer, send in an agenda in advance, and include your proposed next step as part of that agenda.  After all, would you rather not know in advance that the buyer will not agree to your proposed step, while you can still make adjustments based on their feedback.  By waiting the end of the interaction, you risk cornering yourself and the buyer, and in the process risk or extend the sale.

Next Steps

  • Start tracking your outcomes
  • Ensure you have at least two potential next steps based on the above
  • Start preparing agendas and sending them to your buyers in advance

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

Start With the End! – Sales eXchange – 1186

By now I think most sales professionals understand the importance of gaining a next step at every stage of a sale, or advance if you are a SPIN type of sales rep.  Although I still run into some that feel it may be push to ask for a next step, not sure why but they too will learn or perish.

As a result many reps have developed the habit of having a next step strategy (or two) going into any sales meeting.  They go through the meeting, executing their plan, and moving towards their next step or advance.  No bad, even better when the buyer accepts the next step and the process moves forward towards agreement.  Of course there are times when the buyer doesn’t agree;  you can test, back track, reposition things, or do any number of things that can help you reposition, retest your next step, or even your Plan B.

But what if you didn’t wait till the end of the meeting to present your next step?  What if instead you presented it up front, in the context of the agenda, especially in meetings after the initial meeting.   You should always use agendas for all meetings after the first one, and send it in advance so you can get a reaction.  In the agenda will be you preferred next step if the meeting unfolds as planned.  If the buyer has objections or concerns about where you want to go, and how you plan to get there, they can voice those before the meeting, giving you the opportunity to adjust in advance rather than at the fatal end.  As the meeting starts, review the agenda, and again put your next step in front of them, giving yourself a chance to adjust early, rather than finding out that the plan won’t fly at the end, when your options for alternatives and greatly reduced.

This may not be comfortable at first, but still more comfortable than not getting your next step, and having a sales stall, or worse.

Get in the habit of putting your conclusion first, if no one objects, and they agree that if the meeting goes as planned they buy into that next step, then you can use the rest of the meeting to move to that point, through discussion, questions, and knowledge sharing, working together towards an agreed  on objective.

What’s in Your Pipeline?
Tibor Shanto

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