I have just finished teaching a class on Sales and Marketing for the University of Toronto Continuing Education called Finding and Marketing to Customers. We covered many topics in the class, but it was the sales related topics that were the most foreign to the class. There are many intricacies to sales once you get into a face to face meeting with a prospect.
Getting a meeting with a prospect is a hard task, so you will want to make the most of it. Here are some of my tips for a successful initial B2B sales meeting.
Have a Plan For the Meeting
A salesperson should have a plan for each face to face meeting or scheduled calls. This is especially important with joint calls.
There are many ways that you can find out about the contact you are meeting with and the organization they represent.
Listen More Than You Talk
People think that sales people are great talkers, but really they are great listeners. Us the knowledge to make when you do talk more impactful.
This may sound like common sense, but sometimes sales people are so excited to talk they can’t wait. Firstly, cutting a customer off is not respectful and secondly you never know what the customer may talk about. There may be a golden nugget to come out in the conversation.
Ask Lots of Questions
I like to ask lots of questions at the beginning of a meeting with a new contact. Open ended questions are the best.
Tailor Talk With Them in Mind
Use the information from your questioning and research to tailor your talk with the client and contact in mind.
Keep Track of Time
One sure way to upset a prospect is to not respect their time. Make sure you understand how much time they have set aside. You can confirm at the start of the meeting.
Close For Next Step
As part of your plan you should have a few potential next steps ready. Confirm with the prospect at the end of the meeting as to the next steps. A measure of a successful meeting is if you were able to achieve your next steps.
Good planning and an effective strategy can help make your sales meetings and calls more successful. For other sale tips check out our white paper on startup sales.