In part four of our series on preparing for a meeting, we discuss how to use the information you’ve gathered so far in your meeting confirmation and initial pitch. 57% of B2B decision makers feel sales people aren’t prepared for their meeting so this is a critical step!
Welcome to part four of the gross show sales tip series on preparing for a meeting. So far we've discussed how to research the company and the individual you're going to meet. And in general terms the difference in the decision makers mindset between inbound and outbound opportunities. Today's topic is on pre meeting communication, and how to prepare for the critical first five minutes of your meeting. So let's start with pre meeting communication. There's two schools of thought here. The first is if I communicate too much before the meeting, it increases the odds the prospect will cancel. And the second is if I confirm the meeting, it increases the show rate. Well, both are true. I believe the benefit of pre meeting communication is not only to increase the show rate, but to establish rapport with the prospect. One of the most important things to avoid is trying to get into a discovery or identifying pain points, or asking about their level of authority, trying to accomplish those goals. Before your meeting just screams I only care about making a sale. As a rule, you should always send a calendar invitation, even if you don't use your calendar, because the prospect likely has a busy schedule, and will want to plan around your meeting. A calendar invitation also sends an automatic reminder to the prospect before your meeting, which again increases show rates you should also connect with them via LinkedIn where you can send a personalized note and it's okay to include a very brief statement around the reason they agreed to meet. As you've heard on other episodes of the gross show, calling people is the easiest and most effective way to communicate. If the meeting is scheduled for the morning. I always call the day prior and if necessary, leave a voicemail if it's an afternoon meeting, I call the morning of remember in all digital communications and every voicemail or when you do a live confirmation call, always include a statement about spending time preparing for the meeting, people are much less likely to cancel that meeting, when they know you've already spent time preparing for it. Talking about preparing. People have talked about the value of being prepared for centuries, Abraham Lincoln said, Give me six hours to chop down a tree. And I'll spend the first four sharpening the axe. Thomas Jefferson said, Good fortune does often happen when opportunity meets preparation. So I think we're all familiar with my personal favorite from Benjamin Franklin who said, by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. So now let's fast forward to the 21st century data and listen to your potential clients. Because 57% of b2b decision makers feel that salespeople are not prepared for the meeting. That's really all you should need to know to realize the benefit and importance of being prepared for your meeting. Before the meeting right and agenda. Doing so provides an opportunity to take immediate control of the meeting. It helps keep the meeting focused and proves to your prospect that you've prepared for the meeting which is just huge. Keep your first meeting agenda simple in alignment with the commonalities we discussed for inbound or outbound opportunities. writing something down to help you is literally like memory cement. So when a different piece of paper, write down some of the things that you learned in your research that you plan on using during the meeting, regardless of your experience in the industry, practice the first five minutes of your discussion, because the first five are typically the hardest to get through. Naturally After introductions, it's important to start with a reminder about why the meeting is taking place. It doesn't matter if you schedule the meeting or if you're fortunate enough to have a sales development team scheduled for you. It's critical to let them know up front that you know why they agreed to a meeting. Keep it straightforward and really simple. So you could say when we are your SDR names scheduled the meeting, you said and then insert exactly what they said. It could be as generic as you said you wanted to learn more about the services we offer. Or it could be something very specific. But it's important to let them know that you know why they agree To meet, then without hesitation, don't skip a beat immediately tell the prospect that you spent time preparing for the meeting and drop. One of the things you learn from your research about the company. If you can sense the prospect is comfortable, you can talk about one of the personal things you learned about them. But at this point, keep it on the business side of the table, so limited to things like where they went to college, or their rise or tenure in the current company. This is also a great spot in the conversation to pull out your agenda. Remember, 57% of b2b decision makers feel salespeople aren't prepared for their meetings. And if you follow the tips we just outlined, you have without a doubt proven that you are prepared for this meeting. You will never accomplish your goal. If you don't know what the prospect goal is. So in my opinion, the very first bullet should be to ask the prospect what their goal for the meeting is it takes practice. But asking this as your first question will give the prospect the impression that their goal is the most important thing to you. It's also a great way to open up the discovery portion of your meeting which will happen later. The other four bullets should be about them. Things like current state desired state potential roadblocks, their decision process and next steps. One of the most valuable lessons I've ever learned is that only 2% of b2b sales are finalized in the first meeting. Think about that. That means 98% of your sales have to be nurtured to a close. So if your goal in the first meeting is to close a sale, you're absolutely setting yourself up to fail. Thank you for taking the time to listen to the gross show sales tips. Next time we'll talk about how to have a conversational discovery. Have a great day.