Many times sales teams will “wing it” when they present their ideas or solutions to buyers. As a result, the client may see them as unorganized, unprepared
, and lacking the knowledge and attention they’re looking for in a provider. People talk about preparing for client meetings, but what are they really doing about it?
Think about your client as you prepare for client presentations. The outcome of this preparation can be a key sales differentiator in the eyes of your client.
Since it can be such a make or break type situation involving many people’s time and effort, it is imperative that sales management ensures that their teams prepare for client presentations. Here are 4 ways sales managers can maximize their sales team’s effectiveness and prepare for client presentations and meetings:
- Determine the goals and expectations of the client presentation or meeting. What do you want to get out of it? What does the client want to get out of it? Are your expectations aligned with the client’s?
- Study the roles of each team member and decide who will actually attend the client meeting to lead or speak on different topics. If you don’t have a role, then you shouldn’t attend the meeting. Decide who will present what information. By presenting a cohesive message among multiple people, the confidence level of everyone on your team will shine through, in addition to increasing your credibility.
- Practice, practice, practice. A true dry run can make all the difference in the world to moving your deal in the right direction. The definition of a dry run means to actually stand up, as if you were presenting to your client, and practice your presentation as a team. If the meeting is 1 hour, your dry run should be at least as long as the meeting, if not longer. The more you practice, the more prepared and confident you will appear to the client.
- Prepare for questions the client will ask or the objections they will raise, especially the difficult and uncomfortable ones about competition, a negative past experience, or pricing. Make sure everyone agrees with the answers and decide who will be answering the questions or objections based on your role. For example, if you are the head of product management, you should not be answering implementation questions.
This client meeting may be your one shot to win the client over. Whether preparations take an hour or five hours, it will be worth it
. In the end, the buyer will see that you cared enough about their time, viewed them as a top priority, and made the meeting worthwhile for all concerned.
Janice 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.
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