As soon as telemarketers, email marketers and other online marketers have convinced their prospects to agree to an appointment – whether face-to-face or via phone call – it’s now the sales people’s turn at bat.
It’s only the beginning; there are still a lot of things that could happen after a business meeting. The sales presentation could go awry, the meeting could catch the prospect at a bad time, or there could be other factors that could bring the appointment to its demise.
While these things are often unavoidable, it’s always wise to come to the meeting prepared. Here are some tips on how to increase your chances of a successful business meeting:
Do research. A LOT of research.
When a company sends someone over to discuss potential business with another company, prospects usually expect salespeople to know them very well. It’s not because of some misplaced ego trip; it’s just logical to assume that if you want to do business with a company, you have to know a lot about them, even if nothing’s been closed yet.
To fail on that item can paint doom for your sales meeting. Not only that it would be difficult to align offers to their needs, it also tells them that you’re really not that committed to them.
If you’re the salesperson, you need to be observant the moment you sit down with the prospect. What does their normal office scenario look like? How do they dress? How swell are their technology? What’s the current buzz? The purpose of this is to find something to anchor on; something that you may find common among yourselves that you can talk about.
Doing this can help initiate a smooth flow of conversation during the meeting. But remember to keep things relevant and business-focused.
Make it about them, and offer valuable solutions.
You are there to help, not to sell (well, not yet, at least). You are there to enlighten them with value, not prices. You are there to offer solutions, not to force services for imaginary problems. Most of all, you are there to talk about them, not about yourself.
There’s no surefire way to close a deal, but being prepared and skilled to say the right words at the right time can definitely push your odds to lean towards success.