I am a big believer in process as part of the sales cycle and having an effective meeting plan is one of the most important aspects. The meeting plan in this case refers to how you get ready before the meeting. Sales meetings can get challenging and being prepared helps you create a better experience and outcome for both you and your customer. Here are my tips to develop an effective meeting plan.
Target the Right Contact
The first key to a successful meeting is making sure it is with the right contact. You should have an ideal customer profile and buyer persona. The sale will go faster and proceed smoothly if you are talking with the right organization and contact.
Calendar and CRM
Make sure the customer attends the meeting. Send a calendar invite so they see it on their calendar. You can also see if they accept it. Make sure it is added to your CRM and you can also leverage your past interactions and research for the meeting.
Research Before the Meeting
You don’t want to make assumptions before the sales meeting about your prospect, but you can research to come prepared. This typically means looking at their website and LinkedIn. The website could have annual reports, news, blogs posts, service/product overviews, and even job postings that may be able to provide insight into the company. Through LinkedIn you can see details not just on their current job but also on past positions, common connections, and how they are sharing or interacting with content.
Create an Effective Meeting Plan
I created this meeting plan document soon after we started VA Partners in 2006. The team uses it to this day to make sure we are ready for a meeting. The main components are agenda, who are you meeting with, prospect/customer goals and background, your goals for the meeting, and next steps.
The start of a meeting should involve asking questions. This is a great way to collect information and get your prospect engaged. By having questions on the ready, you can make sure you cover off on the things that are the most important. Use the answers, your research, and past interactions to drive the meeting. Focus on the things that will be most important and impactful for the prospect.
VA Partners can help your team book more meetings and have an effective meeting plan. Reach out and connect with me for a meeting.