Do you want to stand out from the competition in a crowded space of so-so sales people? Of course you do! Here’s how you start the meeting in a way that catches your prospect’s attention and sets the tone for a professional, high impact conversation (after you’ve engaged in pleasant small talk and thanked her for her time):
- Confirm the time for the meeting
- Lay out the purpose for the discussion; an agenda of sorts
- Describe what will happen at the end of the meeting
- Ask the prospect for her input
Confirm the Timing
When you confirm the time that you requested from the prospect when you set up the meeting, you show her respect and acknowledge that her time is valuable and you appreciate it. Also, if something has changed, and she can’t meet you for as long, you need to know this at the beginning so you can adjust your agenda to achieve your sales call objective in the time allotted.
Having sent the agenda by email in advance (you remembered to do this, right?!) you should now, in front of the prospect, explain the purpose of the meeting. Your objective will not be to do all the talking and pitch your product. You will be asking her pertinent business questions to see how you can specifically help this company achieve a goal or overcome a challenge.
End of the Meeting
People like to know the outcome of a meeting, where it’s going, how it will end. This is your chance to very briefly explain this so that when you get to the end of the discussion, they are not surprised by your suggestion of a next step.
Finally, you ask the prospect if this format is suitable to her and if there’s anything else she’d like to discuss.
The entire opening will sound something like this:
(1) I’d like to use the next 30 minutes (2) to learn a little more about your business and what’s important to you. Then I will tell you about our company and, most importantly, how we help our clients achieve their sales goals. (3) At the end of the meeting we can determine if there’s a fit and if we’d like to move forward. (4) Is there anything else you’d like to accomplish?
Try this format for a more professional and business-savvy meeting with a prospect. Every so often I receive comments from prospects expressing appreciation for how I lay out a meeting like this. Good luck, let us know how it goes: Linda@TheKernGroupInc.com or 416-520-4897. We look forward to hearing what your prospects say to you!