There’s nothing more exciting or terrifying than a sales meeting. On one side, you’re happy someone has shown interest in your product or service. On the other, the pressure can manifest as anxiety and an uncomfortable sensation in your stomach.
Ultimately, the objective of every sales meeting is to close the deal or move it toward that result. To do so, it’s important to know how and when to talk about your solution and your company. Remember, you’re not selling to businesses, you’re selling to people.
Knowing when to unleash that sales pitch is what makes sales professionals … well… professional. So, how do you know when it’s that perfect time? Fortunately, there’s a “master tip” for closing more deals. It works under any circumstance, regardless of your industry or product, and it’s a personal sales meeting agenda.
What is a sales meeting agenda?
Within the context of this article, a sales meeting agenda is not something you’d share with a prospect. It’s a personal meeting outline helping you stay on message, organised, and perfectly timed. It should be flexible enough to move with the flow of conversation, and firm enough that it keeps you on track.
Here are my tips for building a personal sales meeting agenda:
Sales Meeting Agenda
1. Include time for rapport building
… but not too much time! Set aside the first five minutes of every phone call or meeting for building rapport. This could mean asking your prospect about their weekend or talking about the latest “Game of Thrones” episode; just make sure it goes above the inevitably mundane small talk.
2. Set a meeting goal
Identify what you want to get out of this meeting. Do you want to determine whether your solution will be a good fit for your prospect? Do you need to know their budget? Or do you simply hope to earn another meeting?
It doesn’t matter what the goal is, but it’s important that you have one. This serves as an anchor for the rest of your meeting which keeps things on track and relevant. In fact, a 2017 study, published in Harvard Business Review, suggests goals and agendas should be agreed upon before meetings. When appropriate, share the goal of the meeting with your prospect ahead of time, and ask for their feedback.
For example, you might say, “I’d like the goal of this meeting to be clearly outlining the value our solution can offer your team and determining the ROI you can look forward to.”
3. Bullet your main points
Once you have a meeting goal, list a few ways you’re going to achieve that goal. This serves as an outline for your meeting. It’s a more natural alternative to the traditional sales scripts of old, and it protects you from wandering off course. For example, if your meeting goal is to learn whether your prospect has the budget necessary to move forward, your main points might be:
Ask about team goals and priorities this quarter
Ask about budget allocated for achieving those goals and priorities
Share the ROI of investing in your product to achieve those goals and priorities
4. Set a (loose) timeline
Meetings are fluid and should remain flexible to adapt to your prospect’s needs. But it’s important to have guidelines that ensure you’re respectful of their time as well as your own. Run through your bulleted points and identify approximations of how much time you think it will take to discuss each one. Keeping your meetings to 30 minutes or less is ideal; this ensures you make the most of your attendees’ time and attention. After all, a large proportion of attendees will actually be multitasking during meetings, so consider going “laptops shut” for those 30 minutes, and make your meeting worth their time.
5. Plan pauses and time for questions
Make sure you give your prospect plenty of time to contribute to the conversation. After you present each of your bullets, pause and ask if your prospect has any questions. Now is also a good time to make sure this meeting is aligning with their expectations. A quick, “Am I answering your questions,” or “Is this call matching your expectations,” ensures everyone is on the same page. Make room for healthy silence in your presentations. You might be surprised at what that extra time to think yields from your prospects.
6. Identify your Call To Action (CTA)
You should be closing for something in every call, email, or meeting you set. It might simply be closing for five more minutes of their time, but you should never go into a meeting without having an ask. For example, if you’re having a meeting to ascertain expectations around budget, your CTA might be: “I’ve shared a little more about how Product X can help you meet your department goals this quarter. Is this something you’d be willing to allocate budget towards?”
Having a CTA during each communication keeps the momentum going and ensures every touchpoint is actionable and valuable.
Don’t end your meeting without scheduling your next touch base. Make the most of having your prospect actively engaged by comparing calendars in the moment…. Remember… Book A Meeting From A Meeting
Do you or your sales team need help in planning sales meetings? Get in touch