SEO Edmonton_Meeting

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Navigating Face-to-Face Sales Meetings

Haven’t all sales endeavors moved online, making face to face sales meetings (outside, perhaps, of Skype and video sales) a thing of the past? Well, actually, no. Despite the increased importance of online sales, there is a huge place still left for offline and in-person sales.

But how do you prepare for and successfully handle face to face sales meetings? Many today, used to long-distance selling over phone and Internet connection, may be unfamiliar with the skills and principles involved.

Preparing for Your Face-to-Face Sales Meeting

There are many times where a face to face meeting can be key in business to business or even business to consumer sales. But to be successful, you’ll first need to prepare.

You want to do some research on the business and/or person you will meet with, where applicable, but that’s not enough. You need to prepare yourself mentally too.

For B2B meetings, research out your prospect’s business model, consumer base, and any potential challenges they may be facing that you can help them with. Put yourself in their shoes, see things from their perspective, find out their most important goals.

Next, come up with a list of 5 to 10 engaging questions you can use to start up a productive conversation. Also write down what questions you anticipate your prospect will ask you, along with how you would answer such questions.

Finally, write down your goals for the meeting. What do you want to see the client commit to? When do you want this to be done at latest? Have a call to action ready, but also have some promotional products with you that you can give your prospect to keep your company on his/her mind and to warm up customer relations.

A Three-Stage Approach to Sales Meetings

You want to use your in person sales meeting to offer your prospect something of value to him/her, establish your business as an authority and reputable player in your industry, and show the individual you meet with that you and your company are both “likeable” and “transparent.” In short, you want to stand out as someone he/she would like to do business with.

Here we divide the sales meeting into three simple categories of beginning, middle, and end, and give you some basic but sound advice on each stage of the meeting:

1. Opening

Set a good tone from the beginning by getting there early or at least on time, by offering a friendly smile and handshake, and by thanking them for taking the time to meet with you. Next, ask them what they hope to accomplish in the meeting and make sure you are both “on the same page.” Then, present a “discussion plan,” something close to an outline to follow during the meeting, to ensure you stay on-topic and don’t waste your prospect’s time.

2. Middle

Take the lead in the conversation and look for ways you can connect and relate to your prospect. But don’t spend too much time on small talk either, that’s just to “oil the machine and keep it running smooth.”

Move relatively quickly to your set of questions you prepared, and be give your client time to respond and time to ask his/her own questions. Remember the answers to questions you “planned on being asked” and honestly and appropriately answer any you hadn’t anticipated. Take notes on everything so you have a record of what you discussed and so you can learn from it how to improve on future face to face meetings.

After you have followed through with your “outline” and question/answer list, leave space for any other concerns the prospect may wish to discuss. And then move to the CTA. Ask if he/she would take a specific action or make a specific commitment. If you make a sale, or if the prospect at least remains a prospect, give away your promotional product at that point.

3. Closing

As you wrap things up, don’t get “pushy” and start moving into “hard sell mode.” People often don’t like that, and it can backfire. Mention your company’s products/services and answer any questions posed to you about them, but focus on building a relationship.

At meeting’s end, review the discussion briefly and go over any key points concerning your potential future relation with the prospect. If you’ve already converted them to a customer, review the commitment made to ensure clarity, and then thank them again. Finally, arrange for a future meeting if it makes sense, and don’t forget to ask for referrals (or even give out a few extra promotional products if your client promises to give them out to other prospects.)