Start a Sales Call Strong

Mutual Agenda

The first step in the Software Selling System is to establish a Mutual Agenda.

This sales tip is a quick reminder of the five elements of this sales skill.


Begin by confirming how much time both parties have for the conversation.

The Buyer’s Goal for this Conversation

Ask the buyer what their goals are for this conversation.

This simple question is powerful because:

  • Both parties become comfortable once the buyer has a chance to talk.
  • Most buyers start by putting their need on the table, so the call starts exactly where it should. They take on the role of the patient and you take on the role of diagnostician.

Reason for your questions

Let the buyer know that you need to ask some questions and let them know why.

If you state a reason that is clearly in both party’s best interest, buyers are glad to let you lead with questions.

The person asking the questions is leading the conversation. This paves the way for a deep diagnostic.

Go for NO

Let the buyer know you are willing to gracefully accept a NO.

This relieves the natural human fear of conflict.

This is a great place to insert some self-effacing humor. You are appealing when you are willing to make a bit of fun of yourself.

This is the most difficult element of the Mutual Agenda.

It is not intellectually difficult to understand.

It is emotionally difficult to do.

Save Five Minutes for YES

If they don’t say no, then you need five minutes prior to the end of the call to gracefully discuss next steps.

Beliefs Plus Sales Skills

The intent behind a sales tactic determines its impact.

Sales techniques must be coupled with supportive beliefs, because your belief makes your intent clear to the buyer.

Beliefs that support this sales skill are:

  • I believe buyers want me to take the lead.
  • I believe letting a buyer know that I will gracefully accept a NO reduces the buyer’s anxiety.
  • The Mutual Agenda results in a better conversation for both parties.

The context controls the outcome.