Leadership, Morning Motivators, Motivation, Sales, Success, Time Management
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The Ultimate Checklist For Your Best Sales Meeting Ever

Go through this checklist before any important meeting. Because only you can prevent bad meetings!

Step 1: Pre Meeting

Set an agenda and calendar it

  • Send any material you want reviewed in advance (remember to set a due date for any feedback)

  • Send a separate calendar request to your team, especially with an internal executive sponsor involved

    • Names of customer attendees

    • Roles / LinkedIn profiles

    • Intention for the meeting

    • Outcome you are looking for and each person’s reason for being there

Step 2: Get The Team Aligned

Everyone gets their homework

  • Schedule a 30 minute pre-call to get everyone on the same page

  • Re-confirm the meeting agenda and timing with your meeting sponsor in case anything has changed. Life happens and surprises often arise.

  • List out top objections you are likely to get and practice with a teammate on how to handle it

  • If onsite, bring print-outs of key information that you can’t live without if technology fails

  • Bring back-up presentations on at least two computers and/or a memory stick. Be prepared for technology not to work, especially if you’re offsite.

Step 3: During The Meeting

Open Strong

  • Hand out your card at the top of the meeting. When they reciprocate, you’ll have a handy list of who’s in the room and the face to put with the name.

  • Speaking of which, always address people by their names!

  • Be clear on who is opening the meeting on your team (should be you) and jump on sharing the intention for the meeting and outlining the agenda as soon as everyone sits down. If you wait that 5-10 seconds and leave an open space for your customer or prospect to do it (and you know it’s happened to me and you many times) a senior executive who is used to taking the bull by the horns will jump in and may take the meeting in a different direction. Alternatively, your junior to mid-level champion may take you down a low impact rat hole that you can’t recover from.

  • Opening statement – make sure to share a few research nuggets about the company (that you found in research – blog / twitter / linkedin) to build credibility as you share the agenda

  • Bonus points – share a compelling story or visual that is memorable. People like stories and creativity

  • Make sure you open up the agenda to the most senior executive on the customer side.

Manage The Room

  • Make eye contact with everyone in the room and get at least one piece of input from everyone in attendance. Often the CEO is the final decision maker but rubber stamps his direct report’s recommendation. If you don’t have their support or snub them it could go poorly.

  • Take your own notes (written, not on your laptop or phone). Nothing is worse than facing a room full of people on their laptops.

  • Address any aggressive customer questions with genuine curiosity. I have rarely seen instances where you are personally a target unless you have done something wrong. It’s not personal. A response may sound like this: “I really appreciate you raising that. It sounds like you are passionate about ‘X’ topic or situation. I’m curious, can you me help understand what success looks like for you in that area?”

    • Hear them out, let them talk it out and look for the sign that they feel heard and understood. Then look for an opportunity to move forward.

The Closer

  • Follow the ABCs: Always Be Closing…ON TIME. You’re the owner and timekeeper of your meeting. Artfully wiggle your way out of a stall spiral by saying, “That’s a really interesting point and something we will absolutely address. In the interest of respecting your time, let’s note it and move on.”

  • Close the meeting with a list of actions items and who owns what.

  • Always plan the agenda so you have at least 10 minutes for action steps and helping people transition out of your meeting and to their next. Don’t be surprised if a senior executive interrupts and tells you they have to exit at 10 or 5 to the hour so they can prep for the next meeting. In fact plan, for it!

  • If you brought a print out or leave behind make sure you share with them and why it’s important. Leave an impression and something they can review while you are not there.

Step 4: Post-Show Follow Up

Your meeting isn’t over till you’ve followed up.

  • Summarize to confirm understanding in an email. A verbal conversation is one side of good communication. Until people see it in writing and agree, it’s not concrete!  Don’t leave anything to chance.

  • Decide who on your team is summarizing the meeting and the actions of next steps in writing.

  • Best practice – Send within 24 hours, by end of evening, same day preferred

    • How timely and tightly you follow up is a key action of the best sales professionals and a must-have of great leaders.

    • If you are not doing it now, start today. No seriously. You are leaving money on the table.

  • In your summary, use your agenda (intention, content, outcomes) and any modifications and actions as the guide. Ask for anything that was missed and lay out next steps and any asks you have with the customer. Everything should have a date.

If you have any game changing suggestions not included above please send my way and I will share them back.

Colin

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