Most sales people and managers do not prepare for meetings. Sure, they prepare for that really big presentation, but what about the smaller meetings? Or even a lunch?
One of my first mentors taught me that you always need to be prepared, and that every meeting is important – no matter how long or short. I often run through a quick checklist in my mind before I go into key sales meetings:
1. What is my goal? What is the next step or action that I am seeking in that meeting?
2. What are topics that need to avoid or issues that might be raised? How will I deal with them?
3. I review key data points. At a personal level (Refresh on things that are important to that person or group) and at a business level (Refresh on the dynamics, outstanding issues, etc.)
4. What are my tactics to achieve the goal?
Clients are busy. While they may give you that first cordial meeting – they will not give you a second. They need to move their business forward, and by moving toward a goal in each interaction, both parties benefit and the sales person gains credibility.