How to Prepare for a Meeting: Finalizing Your Meeting Plan

You will not win if you’re not prepared to win.  If you’ve watched our entire series on preparing for your meetings, you’ve completed the research you need to do on the individuals you’re meeting with and you’ve researched the company the prospect works for, as well as the industry they’re in.  Now you’re ready to put all of that work together.  Before your meeting, make sure you practice your introduction and three different topics that you may need to touch on, in order to get yourself through the first five to ten minutes.

  • Create meeting goals in advance that align with the prospects meeting goals. If you don’t meet or exceed your prospect’s goals for this meeting, there probably won’t be another one.
  • Write an agenda and make sure the prospect gets a copy. This is a great way to show the prospect you’ve done your homework and are well-prepared.
  • Write out the discovery questions you’re going to ask. These questions need to be geared toward enhancing your understanding of the prospect’s business.  Approach your discovery as a learner, not as an inspector who’s looking for a hole to drive a sale through.   This technique allows the prospect to talk more than listen during your meeting.  Once you master the art of asking good discovery questions and listening to the answers without solving the problems, you will increase your sales.  When the prospect thinks you’re trying to learn and not trying to sell, they’ll tell you how to sell them.  Walk into the meeting with ten probing questions about their current state and their desired state and make sure the prospect sees you taking notes, it’s a great image to leave behind.

Approach your discovery as a learner, not as an inspector who’s looking for a hole to drive a sale through.

  • Practice using your presentation tools.  If you don’t have visual aids, you need one.  Images are a brain turn-on.  People will remember images over your words so practice your presentation.  Before you end your meeting with questions about next steps, make sure that you’ve met or preferably exceeded your prospects meeting goals.  Because if you haven’t, you’re probably not going to be invited back.
  • End your meeting with a very clear and detailed understanding of what the next steps are. Schedule your next meeting before you leave, if that’s not possible, schedule your next follow up, make sure you know who’s going to attend the next meeting, write their names down and get a good understanding of who the influencers are and who makes the final decision.  Don’t leave without asking the hardest question.  Which is what and who could stop the process from moving forward?

Coming up next in our series is meeting strategy.  We’ve separated your meeting into four segments.  Your Introduction, Discovery, Presentation and Next steps.  Thanks for taking the time to read this blog.  Have a great day!