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6 tips for preparing for a SALES meeting

Preparing your sales meetings is of prime importance. It directly impacts both the sustainability and the growth of your activity. After our article on how to find customers, we felt the timing was right to hand you the keys for preparing your sales meetings.

Whether you’re shy natured or outgoing, it’s an essential step. Under no circumstances should it be neglected! The outcome of your meetings with prospects will greatly depend on how you prepare.

Even before prospecting

Firstly, before you even start prospecting or making sales meetings, make sure your have professional online presence. For more information on the topic, I recommend taking a look at our articles about social networks, websites and LinkedIn!

OK, here we go! Time to unveil our handy tips for being a hit with your prospects!

Find out about the company, activity and your prospect

Try to put yourself in the skin of your prospect. What specific problems are they facing? Where do they go looking for the information they need, and how (by entering keywords into search engines, by word of mouth, on social media, etc.)? Maintain a “customer-centric” attitude throughout the customer acquisition process. To know what to tell them during you meeting, listen carefully to what they say. This will help you pick up on the information they hope to obtain.

When you have a job interview, you find out about the company, read through the listing several times and check out the LinkedIn profile of the person you’ll be meeting with, right? It’s the same idea here. You always need to gather information on:

  • The person: their position, background, experience, areas of expertise, etc.
  • The company: how it came to be, its various activities, market positioning, news, etc.
  • The activity (market/sector activity): new developments, news from the business sector, market issues, etc.

Having this information will allow you to draw parallels with what it is you are offering, meaning your presentation will get your public’s attention more easily and you will be more convincing as a result.

Think about the structure, objective and purpose of your meeting

To best prepare yourself, you need to think about the end purpose: why did you decide to contact the company and person specifically?

There can be several parts to your objective: to establish a partnership, to present your product or service for the first time, to give a more detailed presentation of your offering or present it to a decision-maker in a follow-up meeting, to do a demonstration of your product or solution, etc. How you present things will depend on the desired outcome.

Making a sale in a first meeting doesn’t happen often. Perhaps your initial goal will be to land a second meeting with other decision-makers, other departments, or even to come back to present another offer, or get contacts for other prospects, etc. The aim of a sales meeting isn’t always to make a sale. Usually, your first meeting with a prospect is to get to know them, find out about their expectations and the issues they are facing, and so on. So remember to lay out that context and meeting objective as an introduction!

Prepare an effective presentation (in various formats)

If your prospect doesn’t grasp the key messages within a few minutes, you won’t stand a chance! That’s why preparing for your meeting is vital. Remember to give answers to these questions:

  • Who is your product/service intended for?
  • What is your solution? How exactly does it work?
  • What is your added value?
  • And most importantly: what will you bring to their life, which problems will you help them solve?

To do so, here are some key tips for a top-notch presentation:

  • You will need to have both PowerPoint and PDF presentations on hand, as well as brochures, video demonstrations and more (if you are presenting a technical solution or new product for example).
  • Keep it basic! Avoid overloading your slides. It’s better to use keywords than long explanatory sentences (and not too many slides 😉!).
  • If ever you cannot project your presentation, it needs to be fresh in your mind. You could print it out or write down the key elements on a piece of paper.
  • Practice presenting, but do not learn it by heart! Just be sure to know the 2-3 key points for your contact to take away from the presentation and the general order of topics to discuss.
  • In terms of substance, start by presenting the why (why you are there, which problems you will be addressing), then explain your added value, what differentiates you from the competition, and end with the presentation of your services and products.

Be sure to bring something to take notes on. Otherwise, how would you remember what your prospect says?

Anticipate as many objections as possible

You need to anticipate their potential questions and objections, and as many as possible. Make sure what you are offering will actually help your customer. If the added value of your product or service isn’t clear, your prospect will not be won over by it.

To take things further, check out our article on negotiating!

Prepare an email to recap and thank your customer

We recommend sending an email to recap the meeting. You could:

  • Thank the person for their time
  • Attach the presentation of your offering
  • Include a link to your website
  • Recap in a few sentences: your added value, concrete examples of use and problems you are helping other customers deal with, examples of past projects, references, etc.
  • Remind them of the next steps to go through together

Relax 😊

Try to get a change of air and relax before sales meetings. Stress is contagious and people can really feel it in this type of meeting, which won’t play well for you. You know what you are selling. You know the topic. So stay calm… Not every meeting will lead to a sale, but each person you meet grows your network and you can learn a lot!

Now, it’s time to work, use our article to build a great sales pitch!

See you again soon 😊

Source: blog (FR)

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