Bla, bla, bla, bla. This is what it sounds like when you’re in a meeting and you have no agenda, no end time, and no idea why you’re there. A complete waste of time, right? Well, keep this in mind when you are pitching your next client. Taking complete control over every step of the sales meeting will put your prospect at ease with open ears and an open mind. Below is your Nine-Step framework for an incredibly successful sales meeting.
First: Select a meeting venue and service support that reflects the caliber of your brand.
There are thousands of meeting venues across the nation and indeed the world where you can choose the location, vibe and meeting setting that is in line with the impression you want to establish with your prospective client. You may reserve an intimate meeting room, grand boardroom or something in between by the hour or day.
Second: Send an invitation and make sure your prospect knows where to find you. I know this sounds basic but sending an invitation is often overlooked. If you’re like me, if the meeting is not in my calendar it does not exist. Don’t risk the prospect forgetting to put the meeting time in his/her calendar – put it there yourself. Make sure the building address where you are meeting is readily found in Waze, Google Maps or the like. Some buildings are simply not there. Use a Virtual Receptionist to help you with these time-consuming tasks.
Third: Establish a very clear agenda and time box your meeting. When you create your agenda start with the prospect’s needs in mind first. People love to hear about themselves and only want to hear about you in the context that helps them! If you start with an overview of you and your business, you will notice your prospect’s eyes glaze over. Establish a time limit for the meeting a start and stop time. If you go over you must ask your prospect for permission to do so.
Fourth: Provide a warm welcome when your prospect enters reception. Do something to ensure that your prospect feels very welcome as soon as they enter your reception area. A digital or even a paper Welcome sign is great! Inquire as to whether your prospect needs to use the rest room, and offer a beverage. Make sure he/she is completely comfortable and at ease prior to starting the meeting.
Fifth: Share your agenda and time box with your prospect. Let the prospect know exactly how you will be spending the next hour, and how investing that time will benefit him/her. When you are done get buy in by asking, “How does that sound”. Setting the agenda and getting buy in will make or break your meeting. We have some great tools at Be Smart About that will guide you through this process.
Sixth: Every time you ask question (as it feels natural), explain to the prospect how the answer will help you to provide a solution. It’s uncomfortable to feel that you are in the back end of an inquisition – especially when you have no idea how the inquisition will benefit you. So, fill the prospect in on how the answer will help you to provide a value-rich solution.
Seventh: Perform your needs identification (via your questions) but wait until the end to provide a solution. Validating the prospects response during your needs identification ensuring that you understood their answer is important. But, responding to each answer with a tactical solution wastes time. Perhaps more important, if you are asking the right questions, waiting to the end to provide a solution enables you to take a thought-leadership position offering a holistic more strategic offering.
Eighth: As you bring the meeting to a close, establish next steps. Of course, depending on your product or service you may be able to ask for the business right then and there. However, if you have a multi-touch sales cycle then it is appropriate to establish next steps with a timeline for those steps as the meeting concludes.
Ninth: Follow up according to the schedule you provided. Don’t miss a beat. The follow up to the meeting is critically important. If you need help a Virtual Assistant is the perfect solution. And, close the deal accordingly!
In closing: I always want to increase the likelihood of closing at every touch point. Review all your touch points from the initial impression to meeting, follow up and beyond. Ensure every touch point is executed to perfection. Bring in the right resources along the way to provide you with the support you need for success.
I have long trusted Davinci Virtual to provide meeting rooms and administrative support whenever and wherever I need to meet. Click here to read more.