Have a Highly Productive Customer Meeting
A productive face to face customer meeting can be the key to closing
business. Whether itís the first time youíre meeting the prospect or
fifth time, a well organized meeting will help move the prospect through
the sales cycle. There are 6 phases to a productive meeting:
Securing the meeting and reviewing the agenda with the prospect
Planning for and reviewing the objectives of meeting with your
The beginning of the meeting, including introductions and agenda
The main part of the meeting
The end of the meeting, including a summary of open action items
A debrief with your company and assignment of action items
are 3 meeting techniques you can use for the main part of the customer
"How Are We Doing?"
10-20 minutes after the start of the meeting, stop what you are doing
and ask the client any one of the following appropriate questions:
Is the level of detail being presented appropriate for this
Does the information we have presented so far make sense to you?
Do you feel we should be covering another topic at this point
based on how the meeting has proceeded so far?
of the above questions let you take the temperature of your
prospect/customer and will normally give you the opportunity to adjust
your presentation or topic if needed. Thereís nothing worse than going
through a presentation and finding out at the END of the meeting that
you should have switched topics earlier. Your prospect/customer will
appreciate you asking and it might save you from wasting a well
Offer to Walk out of the Room
youíre in a meeting with multiple people from a company and they seem to
be disagreeing on topics that you believe will cause a delay in the
meeting objective, ask them if they would like a few minutes to have a
discussion among themselves. There are times you should just sit there
silently and let them work it out, but if that proves unsuccessful,
leaving the room can be a very powerful offer to your client. They will
appreciate your willingness to be flexible and your ďsales sensitivityĒ
to their issues. Upon returning, you will likely find that they have
come to agreement on an important topic and the remaining time in the
meeting will become highly productive.
Questions and Practice Active Listening
While giving a presentation, make sure you ask the customer pertinent
questions. Donít get into the mode of always speaking. Try to draw the
prospect into the meeting by constantly seeing if the material is
relevant to their project, if thereís anything youíre missing, and if they
feel the product solves their problem.
you ask a question, you should engage in active listening as the
customer answers. For example, take notes, nod your head and interject
short phrases to convey you are listening and understand what they are
saying. The more you can engage the prospect in the meeting, the more
information you will gain. This information will allow the meeting to
be more productive and should allow you to move the prospect through the
sales cycle quicker.
Action Items and Follow-Up
One more thing
that can make or break the productivity of a prospect or customer
meeting from their perspective is follow-up and delivering on the action
items. During the meeting, you may have gathered useful information about
their needs and helped them to think through their
problem. If you donít follow-up with the additional
information they need to make a decision, it will all be for nothing.
Donít miss the chance to show how responsive you can be.
Do you have other effective meeting techniques that
want to share? We welcome your input.
Drop us a line.