Preparing for Sales Meetings
An easy way to increase close rates.
I know, I know. You would assume that reps prepare for every meeting, right? This topic may be a little MOTO (Master of the Obvious). But over and over I am totally surprised when I get on a call and the sales rep is either unprepared or has no idea who is on the call. Here is your quick checklist for prepping:
- Make sure you have set expectations, an agenda and goals for the allocated time. If you have not initially set these items, at the onset of the meeting, restate your intentions, and outline an agenda and get verbal confirmation on what will be discussed. It is you time, make it your agenda and meet the expectations of the prospect or customer.
- Know everyone that is on the call. Have you checked the To: and From: lines? Make sure you are not surprised when there is a technical or legal person on the call. Use LinkedIn to lookup all attendees, and know their role and part in the sales cycle.
- Is there a decision maker present? Getting the nod early can shorten the sales cycle, but requires key stakeholders in the early process. Ask to invite decision makers, procurement, IT, etc. Make your meetings an efficient use of everyone’s time.
- Know where you are in the sales cycle. There is nothing worse than hopeful meetings. Know your prospect, BANT and where they sit in the buying cycle. You lose credibility and your time if you are trying to close during discovery and could piss off the prospect, and slow things down. This ties into the agenda and goals.
- Always move forward. Be prepared to move the ball forward. At the end of every meeting, restate what has been accomplished and define next steps. Always send a summary of the discussion, key points and action items. Follow up and make sure they happen.
Again, these may seem obvious, but over and over I see reps of all experience levels fumble through meetings and waste time and effort.