Tip 6 – Have a good structure
If this has already been discussed in communication prior to the meeting, then it is good idea to repeat this in your opening to make sure expectations match up, particularly if the meeting has been booked by someone who is not actually attending.
For a typical first meeting with a prospective client, here is what we’d recommend:
- Opening – be clear about why you are here, how you will run the meeting, and what you expect the outcome to be. You can also validate if this is consistent with those in the room.
- Identify the need – clear, concise questions to establish the prospects current situation, their challenges specific to your service offering, and their criteria for selecting any supplier.
- Presentation – this is your opportunity to pitch your service offering to the prospect. This should be bespoke to the prospect, and based upon your understanding of their specific needs.
- Deal with objections that arise – very rarely do clients agree to appoint you without having some concerns, so make sure you understand what the questions are really asking and answer them effectively.
- Agree next actions – in small sales processes with deals of relatively low value, you may be able to close the deal on the day. In larger sales cycles, this may be the first of many and your “close” is on a further meeting.