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How to Prepare for Client Meetings – Focus on the Outcome

How to Prepare for Client MeetingsWhen you set your agenda and prepare for client meetings, calls, or presentations, do you think through what you want the outcome to be?  How do you know if the call, meeting or presentation was a success?  Do you prepare for client meetings by focusing on the outcome that will move the deal through your sales process or better assess if this is an opportunity you want to pursue?  Do you think about a desired outcome or a best case outcome? Prepare for client meetings by focusing on the outcome of any buyer interaction. It’s a key method to help you control where to best spend your time, money and resources. Do your outcomes look like this?
  • You gain a better understanding of who is involved in the buying decision and identify the executive who has the ultimate say in the decision
  • You gain agreement and set up initial meetings with those involved in the buying process to better understand their needs and priorities
  • You get input on your agenda to gain feedback before preparing for a meeting or presentation
  • You get specific feedback about the proposal you provided from someone who influences the buying decision
Or do your outcomes look like this?
  • You get a demo set up
  • You ask if they want a proposal
  • You get a lunch with a client
  • You get a golf game set up
  • You figure out how to close the deal by end of the quarter
The first set of outcomes clearly show an effort to adhere to your sales process, ensure that you understand what the buyer is trying to accomplish, and measure their level of involvement every step of the way.  These outcomes allow you to know if you are spending your time with those that have a need to make a change – one that will involve much effort on everyone’s part. The second set of outcomes is either more about what you want or is not specific enough.  For example –
  • “You get a demo set up” could be changed to:
    • “You identify the key stakeholders and gain agreement on setting up interviews to prepare for the upcoming demo”
  • “You ask if they want a proposal” could be changed to:
    • “You identify a coach to review the proposal prior to being presented to the key stakeholder(s)”
  • “You get a lunch with a client” could be changed to:
    • “You set up a lunch to better understand how major changes have been successfully implemented and sustained in their company”
  • “You get a golf game set up” could be changed to:
    • “You set up a golf game to clearly understand the return on investment that is needed to get the buyer to make a change and buy your products and services”
  • “You figure out how to close the deal by end of the quarter” could be changed to:
    • “You identify the key activities, resources and dates for both parties (Sequence of Events document) to determine if the deal can close by the end of the quarter”
Think about and prepare for client meetings by focusing on the outcome relative based on where you are in your sales cycle and the level of your relationship with the buyer.  Use your outcomes as a way to determine if you are spending your time, money and resources for both parties’ benefit. Janice Mars, SalesLatitudeJanice Mars, principal and founder of SalesLatitude, is a senior business and sales executive with more than 30 years of experience helping companies build successful sales teams. She has parlayed that experience to help her clients to improve their sales processes, accurately forecast revenues, ensure focus on winnable opportunities, and attain consistent results. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter

Janice Mars, Principal and Founder of SalesLatitude, is a sales performance improvement consultant and change agent focused on growing top performers to impact bottom line growth. With more than 30 years of experience as a senior business and sales executive, she helps companies build successful sales teams by maximizing their time and resources, selling from the buyer’s point of view, and strengthening the effectiveness of leadership. View my LinkedIn profile | Twitter

0 Comments

The Lame Question Guaranteed to Turn Your Prospect Off - SalesPOP!3 years ago

February 26 2017

[…] it’s crucially important to show potential clients that you have done your research, are prepared to speak intelligently at the meeting, and that you value their […]

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Pitch Slapped - WOMEN salespros4 years ago

July 16 2015

[…] Sales people need to stop pitching. Obviously they do it because it is easier than having to do quality research on what their customer wants. You can look around a little on the web, or not, and just spout what you believe is really cool about what you sell. Ugh. And, then you wonder why you never can get the second meeting! […]

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The Lame Question Guaranteed to Turn Your Prospect Off - Pipeliner CRM Blog4 years ago

July 09 2015

[…] it’s crucially important to show potential clients that you have done your research, are prepared to speak intelligently at the meeting, and that you value their […]

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Avoid Lame Sales Questions - WomenSalesPros4 years ago

April 06 2015

[…] mention damaging to your credibility. Avoid lame sales questions and show the client that you are prepared for the meeting and that you value their […]

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Avoid Lame Sales Questions and Show You’re Prepared - SalesLatitude5 years ago

March 12 2015

[…] mention damaging to your credibility. Avoid lame sales questions and show the client that you are prepared for the meeting and that you value their […]

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