How to get a meeting with a prospect

Decision makers will give you a meeting (most of the time) if you have a referral introduction to them. If you don’t have an introduction from someone you both know, then you must have a very compelling reason for the prospect to agree to meet with you. What does that mean? Well, consider this:

In speaking with decision makers in several different industries recently, we learned that the number one issue identified by the leaders was the importance they place on the sales person knowing their (the prospect’s) business and industry. They emphasized that they expect sales people to “do their research,” “know my business beyond our website,” and “understand me and my role and how your offering can help me.”

The next most frequently mentioned issue was that they expect sales people to know their own business. What trends are happening in the sales person’s industry that the customer can capitalize on? How can the sales person’s product or service add value to the prospect’s company?

The third hottest issue identified in the study is for the sales person to communicate quickly and concisely how their product or service can help the customer’s business. What cost savings or revenue improvement can the sales person’s product or service impact? Get your messaging clear, crystal clear, so that you can succinctly explain the impact you will have on their business.

I call this High Impact Conversations. That is,

                    … having a positive impact on your customer’s business.
That impact should drive your customer towards the achievement of
stated goals, lessening or eliminating the impact of their challenges.

What results do your clients achieve when they work with you? Do they increase sales or profit, eliminate downtime, reduce employee turnover, reduce costs, improve workflow and efficiencies, etc. Make a list of all the ways your company’s solution impacts your clients: there may be only one key impact, or there may be several. Companies only buy from you when you can help them to become better in some way that is impactful to their business.

Now, when you are requesting a meeting from a decision maker, start by asking them about this impact. You might say: “Good morning, Elaine. It’s Linda Kern, of Uptime Inc. I’ve read it’s difficult for Widget makers to eliminate downtime in the plant, how has that impacted you?” Note that you are asking about their business and not pitching your product. They may ask who you are, and that’s okay, just repeat your name and ask the question again. You want to set the tone that this is a business discussion and not a product pitch. After a brief discussion ask for a 30-minute meeting, and suggest one or two dates. Let us know how it goes! 416-520-4897 or

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