Feb 18 2016
In Sandler Sales Training Programme, an Up-Front Contract (UFC) is a tool that salespeople use to agree with their prospect, before the meeting, what will take place during that particular sales meeting.
Surprises can sometimes be fun but not when you are dealing with a prospect or a client. Surprises during a sales meeting, either from the prospect or from you, can be a deal breaker or, at the very least, compromise a positive relationship between you and your prospect. You would not want your dentist to ‘surprisingly’ pull a tooth out, would you?
UFC is a key tool in the Sandler Selling System, as one of David Sandler’s core rules is “No mutual mystification” and a proper use of this tool brings helpful clarity on both sides.
Elimination of unpleasant surprises is not the only advantage of using an UFC. It allows the salesperson to maintain control during all phases of the selling process. Control of the selling process is vital to a salesperson’s success. If that control is lost by allowing the prospect to orchestrate meetings or introduce unexpected elements, it is difficult, if not impossible, to effectively move the selling process forward. If a UFC is established, the sales professional can confidently guide client interactions and keep the sales process on track.
Elements of an Up-Front Contract
- The purpose of the meeting – why are you having this meeting?
- The prospect/client’s agenda - what is prospect looking to achieve in this meeting and what is he/she expecting from you?
- The salespersons agenda for the meeting – explain what your agenda is and what information prospect would need to provide you with.
- Time – how much time do both sides have?
- The expected outcome of the meeting or interaction – what should be the next steps if the prospect would like to proceed. However, they need to know that it is ok for them to tell you that they will not buy.
It’s important to ensure that the prospect understands and is comfortable with all the terms of the UFC prior to the meeting. You can implement UFC in a phone call or in an e-mail, whatever method of communication suits your prospect more. UFC is not something you need to do once in a blue moon, make sure that you prepare it for each and every one of your sales meetings. If you are working with a client/prospect who has a long buying cycle and a number of meetings is required, do not be lazy make sure to have a specific UFC for each of these meetings. This will pay off in the long run, trust me.