89% of sales meetings fail according to Forrester research. Having lorded over such meetings as a buyer of services for 18 years and having helped clients actually close these meetings for the past decade, here are some important things to consider before your next big corporate sales meeting.
Be An Industry Expert
I can’t stress enough how important it is to be niched in an industry when it comes to sales meetings. If I can’t convince you of that, here’s the latest statistic from Forrester research: Being an industry expert is 4 times more important to corporate buyers vs. Product Knowledge or relationships. So, once you do the strategic work of picking the most viable industry to focus on, then consume their content. Know their pain. Follow their trends and be on top of new legislation. That’s the most critical part of acing your sales meeting.
Dig Into Company’s Info
Once you’ve become an expert in the industry, now dig into the company pain and opportunities. Look at their annual reports (if public), press releases, Google results, news about them and their own company posts. Look for problems they might have or alternately look for signals of growth. Then, apply this information to how it pertains to your specific topic of business. How can you help them solve an expensive problem?
Stalk Who You’ll Be Meeting With
Information is power, so figure out their job scope, background, what’s important to them. Monitor their personal pages and hobbies or passions. What you’re looking for is a pain point you can solve for them personally-either in their private or professional life. When you are able to connect with them on a personal level, you get brownie points for doing your due diligence.
Research shows that now, vendors that go in to sales meetings with a larger group close faster. That’s because there’s strength in numbers. Also, it’s good to go in big because the now, buying groups are larger. Make sure to clarify everyone’s roles on both sides and give your team a part of the show and tell to participate in. You will impress the buyer by looking professional and coordinated.
Control the Meeting
Be crystal clear on how long the meeting with be from the start and what the flow will be. Tell them what the agenda will be, asking them if they’d like to add anything else. Then stick to the time and agenda you communicated. Don’t let participants hijack it. If anyone tries, interrupt them gently by saying ‘that’s a really important point NAME’, then ask your question. If you have less than 60 minutes of time, run the buyers through exploratory questions to flush out their pain and to outline your solution. If you have 90 minutes, then first do a capability presentation prior to the questioning. Don’t forget never to leave without a date for a next meeting.
These tricks and tips help me and my clients close corporate sales meetings faster. So, take note and try some of these before prepping for your next meeting and come out smiling from ear to ear.
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