The goal is to get a sales meeting.
But, not all sales meetings are built the same.
You can’t just ask a million and one qualification questions.
It needs to have structure, build rapport, and there has to be a solid agenda of topics to cover.
Relationships are built on conversation, and conversations need structure.
In this guide, we take a look at how to create a sales meeting agenda that is personalized for each of your target audience personas, works to nurture leads, and helps drive conversations forward.
Before entering the meeting, make sure you do your research beforehand.
And, we’re not just talking about the initial research you did before you built your contact list and reached out to your prospect.
We’re talking about going on LinkedIn to see who they are and where they fit in your target customer profiles, checking out their past companies to see what kind of work cultures they were involved in, stalking their Twitter accounts, etc.
Nothing is off the table when you do your research.
You want to make sure that you can cater to the personality that your prospect exudes online.
This allows you to provide them with a “personalized meeting” along with your custom solutions.
The first part of anything meeting is greeting the prospect.
Now, don’t just limit yourself to saying “hi”.
We found that asking prospects how they’re doing or asking them how their day went is a better way of getting them to loosen up.
No matter how busy your prospect is, you can never go wrong with a couple of pleasantries.
2. Tell Your Prospect About The Sales Meeting Agenda
After you say “hi”, don’t jump in with your script right away.
Everyone does that.
And, you need to set yourself apart.
Here’s the thing.
A lot of prospects complain that sales meetings take too long and their expectations to match up with the reality of the call.
What you need to do is tell them about what’s going to happen and give them the sales meeting agenda upfront.
This allows you to set their expectations, get them to agree on the timeframe of the meeting for you to make adjustments, and be more flexible with the meeting flow.
More importantly, it makes your organization come off as one that is transparent and understanding of their unique needs.
Typically, you want to jump in with the sales meeting agenda right after you say “hi” and get them warmed up for the call.
Here’s a typical run-through of what you should tell them.
- How long the call will take:
We value your time and I don’t want to take too much of it, these calls usually take 15-20 minutes depending on *factors that lengthen the call*.
- The sales discovery process:
It will be a two-part process where I’ll first assess your industry-specific needs and the unique challenges that you face…
- The demo process:
…then we’ll move to exploring unique opportunities for growth and using our solutions.
By telling them how long it will take you’re respecting their time and setting their expectations.
This goes a long way in establishing your brand, regardless of whether they convert or not.
If you want, you can add more to this by giving them question examples and exact subjects that you will cover.
3. Sales Triage and Discovery
The first part of the call is your sales discovery process.
You want to understand your customer and where they stand in their industry.
This is a critical part of your agenda because a lot of prospects get put off by marketers who don’t get their unique position in the market and thus are unable to provide them with solutions that are customized for their needs.
If you’ve done research on the company beforehand, you can use this time to confirm the facts that you have.
Assessing their organization will allow you to tweak your solutions to address needs that they don’t even know they have. Think of this as your implicit way of determining their needs before you actually ask them what their pain points are.
At this stage, you also want to ask them about their goals and vision for their organization, this allows them to warm up to you because you’re talking about something personal to them.
Since it’s phrased in the view of the organization they won’t be reluctant to talk about it.
Get them talking.
4. Assessment of Their Needs
Your next step is to start asking about the explicit needs that their organization might have that can be solved by your solutions.
This should be pretty straightforward.
Get them talking by asking them how they feel like they could improve on a certain aspect or if they’re doing enough already to fix things.
Now here’s the thing.
Some people might be tempted to stop asking questions that are not related to their solutions, but keep going. Other pain points that they might have could show you other parts of their organization and shed light on how they function.
This is another good section to get them talking.
A good tip is to try and elicit an emotional reaction from them to get them talking.
Since they already talked to you about their vision of the future, you can leverage that vision while talking about their pain points.
5. Assessment of Their Buying Process
Now, you don’t want to tell them this part of the agenda upfront, but slowly slide it in after questions about their pain points.
These are questions that are related to when they need the solution and how they’ll buy it from you.
You should also ask about who makes the buying decisions in the company, this will help determine who you should be talking to for the close – hopefully, it’s them.
Don’t spend so much time here.
If you talk about the “money” too much, there is a possibility that you will put them off.
There are also times where you might not even need this step if you know you’re talking to the decision-making unit and if you have reliable information regarding their purchase procedures.
That’s why we always insist that you do thorough research before you speak with the prospect.
6. Demo (or Schedule One)
Now it’s time for you to do some of the talking and discuss the potential solution your organization has for them.
It might be tempting to talk about what you have in store for them for more than ten minutes but don’t.
You need to keep this to the point and RELEVANT to their pain points.
All the other features of your product that don’t directly solve the problem that they have or are just present as a “nice to have” should not take the driver’s seat here.
You can also get them involved by talking about each step of their business process and how a particular feature of your solution solves that issue.
If your product requires them to be on a Zoom call or a video presentation, schedule one in the coming week.
7. Steps from There
Now it’s time to end it well.
Inform them that you are nearing the end of the meeting and talk about what steps they could take moving forward.
If the meeting is going well or if they want to buy into what you’re offering immediately, then it maybe it’s time that you try and close the deal, but if not, don’t force it.
You want things to be as organic as possible.
Maybe it will go south and you won’t want the prospect as one of your clients.
That’s perfectly alright.
What’s critical at this stage is that you have a concrete plan that you and your prospect are in agreement with moving forward.
If they’re not positively sold yet or if they want to bide their time, then schedule another meeting in the future.
Keep the conversation going.
So, what do you do if the meeting didn’t go well and you want to save the prospect?
Make sure that you send them a piece of lead nurturing such as the minutes of the meeting.
Now that you have your next schedule set, you can finally end the call.
Always aim to end a meeting with good vibes.
You can thank them, make them laugh, or even leave them with something thought-provoking that they can take with them as they go about their day.
- Make sure you’re monitoring the results of each of your meeting, try to do a time study and see what meeting lengths have resulted in more success for you and your organization.
- Don’t forget to send your prospect a copy of the minutes of the meeting, this isn’t only great for brand recall and lead nurturing, but it also helps people see how professional your organization handles conversatons. This makes for great branding!
- Always focus on building rapport.
- If the prospect strays away from the conversation, that’s alright so that you have a chance to listen to them, but make sure that you have control of the sales meeting agenda. This is critical so that you’re efficient and you don’t waste their time – regardless if they get carried away.
- Make sure that you tweak the entire agenda if you have to so that it will resonate better with your prospects.
These 8 steps form a majority of all sales meeting agendas and if you get them hammered out you can provide a more structured meeting for your prospects.
This not only minimizes confusion but also tells your prospects that you’re someone that they can trust.
People crave a little structure because it allows them to understand things.
And, you want that, especially if you’re selling high ticket solutions.
The trust also works for everyone.
The more trust you build the better the relationship you create.