As a certified WBE and a coach who works with MBE’s, I know that the biggest buyer pet peeve during matchmaker meetings is the vendor that shows up unprepared. I’ve even heard stories of WBEs and MBEs asking the buyers during the meeting what they actually do as a company. So, after reading this, I know that you won’t be one of the unprepared ones. Here are some clear steps on how to make sure that you have that next meeting.
Research Their Pain
Corporate buyers, like every other human purchases to solve a problem (their pain). To research their pain, Google ‘industry name problem 2021’. Read their investor analyst highlights. Look at their press releases and news about them. If you want to do a better job than just surface research, do like my clients: interview a few decision makers you know in that industry and ask them what keeps them up at night. Talk to their suppliers. Doing your homework doesn’t just mean going to their website. Dig deep to find out what their biggest, most expensive and persistent pain is.
Message How You Can Help
Once you’ve understood the pain that they’re in, outline in your elevator pitch and your capability statement, how you can provide a solution to their pain. Position yourself as being a specialist in that pain and in that industry. Make sure to speak their language and use their jargon.
Tell Stories of Pain
Once you’ve introduced the premise of what problem you solve for them, show them how you help through stories. Tell at least 2-3 stories constructed as ‘what the problem was for the client’+’what we did to help’+’the result’. This format will always yield proof that you can also help them since they’re in the same pain and will get them the same results.
This is the conversation piece of the matchmaker meeting. Ask them to validate if they are also in similar kind of industry pain and if your approach could help them. Check in with them that you’re on the same page and that they see a need for your services.
Use as Messenger
The biggest part of any sales meeting is the call-to-action. The ‘ask’. My clients and I often contact our department buyer prior to the matchmaking meeting (because they are rarely there in person at the matchmaker). Then we tell them that we’re meeting with their diversity officer/buyer in the next week and will be passing on a valuable info/data/trend book about the solution to their pain. Lastly, we use the person from the corporation at the meeting to pass on our value added gift about the solution. Voila! We’ve now used the meeting as a messenger. Of course, don’t forget to follow up with your department buyer and invite them to a meeting about the solution.
Matchmaker meetings are the key reason why you’ve certified as a diverse business-to gain access to top corporate decision makers. Don’t waste the opportunity by being unprepared.