Elements of a Successful Sales Meeting

One of our major goals (if not the major goal) is to generate sales conversations. Depending on your business, that conversation may take place in person, on the phone, web meeting, or email. No matter what the medium, if you sales calls are not effective, your marketing budget will be wasted.

Every once in a while you run into a prospect who makes the sales conversation easy for you. In my experience, these folks tend to be highly trained sales people or business owners. I recently met such a person; she sent me one of the best pre-meeting emails I’ve ever received. I’ve included most of it below (I’ve changed a few minor details) and I’ll follow it up with some comments about why I thought it was such a good message.

“…Just to review what my goal is for the meeting, I would like to learn more about the services you provide and how much your services cost.  I am not sure if I can get the bank to pay for the fees but that is my first choice.  As far as budget I don’t really have one at this point so I wanted to let you know that upfront.  I don’t know that I can make a final yes or no decision from our meeting but I will be honest with you about that.

The other thing I would like to learn more about it how I can be a referral source for you.  I would like to know the types of clients you are looking for, size, budget, etc.

Thanks Bill, I am looking forward to meeting with you on Thursday, please let me know if you have any other questions or need any other information prior to our meeting on Thursday.  Thank you. – Robin”

Lessons from this message:

She let me know what she wants to accomplish. Not only did she tell me she wanted to learn about my services, she also wants to talk about being referral partners. These are two very different types of conversations and I often seem them being confused when professional service providers get together to “learn more about one another”. We should all identify our goals and agenda before starting a meeting.

She told me up front what her challenges will be. I appreciate this because it helps me prepare some options ahead of time for moving forward. We should always be listening and asking about challenges and obstacles during our calls, Robin just made it easier for me to help address those challenges by putting them on the agenda.

I know she probably won’t make a decision during this meeting, so I can know that in order to leave the meeting with a clear future we will need to discuss what our next steps should be.

Robin also asked if I needed to give her home work. In this case I didn’t, but asking a prospect to do some preparation or provide information before you meet is a great way to insure a productive meeting.

After reading this email, I was actually looking forward to having the meeting! I can promise you I don’t think or say that very often.

I’m sure there are additional lessons to be learned here. Leave a comment and tell me what you learned that I forgot to list.

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