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Great – You Got that First Customer Meeting. Now What?

Great – You Got that First Customer Meeting. Now What? - Janice Mars, SalesLatitude

Great – You Got that First Customer Meeting. Now What? - Janice Mars, SalesLatitudeJust because you got that first customer meeting does not mean you deserve another one. I can only imagine how hard you worked to get it. You most likely did lots of research online, talked to people you had in common, did more research, and then really prepared. It took you tons of time to get to know this person the best you possibly could with the information you had. And, you exhausted all avenues. What happens next?

How You Got It

After doing your research, you then had to figure out your messaging. How did you justify why this executive should meet with you? If you got this person or the admin on the phone, or went right to their voicemail, how did you quickly and succinctly grab their attention so they would say “yes” to a meeting? How did you figure out the perfect email with the perfect subject line and the perfect message (short and to the point) – one that ensured they wouldn’t delete it right away?

And then lo and behold, you got the first customer meeting! I’m sure it most likely took you multiple attempts and different modalities to get their attention. You were a sales warrior, laser-focused on getting that meeting like a prized trophy.

Preparing for the First Customer Meeting

How did you prepare for your first customer meeting? How did you start the conversation? I always find this to be a key part of prepping for any upcoming customer meeting. The prep ensures you set the right tone and position yourself to be relevant.

I am just scratching the surface here, but everything I’ve discussed above are best practices for preparing for customer meetings. If you routinely do this level of preparation, then clearly you “get it.” But, most sales people do not. I have seen the “best of the best” prep for one to two days for a 30-minute meeting with a key executive. Say what?! You better believe it! Now, that may seem a bit over the top, but a good rule of thumb is that your time to prepare should exceed the anticipated meeting time by a long shot. Make sense?

You Had the Meeting. Now What?

So, you had the first customer meeting. What happened afterwards? Did you get a second meeting? Or…

  • Did they push you down the hierarchy?

Hmmm…not good. This probably happened because your message was not relevant to that individual. Did you talk more about you and your company? Did you talk more about technology than business outcomes and business trends?

  • Did they refer you to a peer within their organization?

Not bad at all. Your conversation must have confirmed your credibility with this individual enough that, although your offering was not pertinent to them, he or she saw a good reason to connect you to someone you could potentially help.

  • Did they refer you to a friend at another business?

Also not a bad thing, for all the same reasons as above, except now you have another pre-qualified lead into an entirely different company.

Do You Deserve a Second Meeting?

Not every sales person deserves a second customer meeting, but that’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes, you’re just not relevant to that person at that particular time. Be sure to connect with them socially and make sure you stay top of mind in a relevant, non-pestering way. Consistently let them know you are there for them when they’re ready to talk. If your first conversation was relevant and informative, and helped you establish more credibility, then there is a high probability that you’ll get that second customer meeting. And, it will be well deserved!

 

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

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