Fail to Plan; Plan to Fail

By | April 4, 2019

After you have put in all the hard work and effort to secure an appointment with “Decision-Maker”, “Power” and or a “C” level executive in a mahogany row, do not let sloppiness, haste or over-confidence, sabotage your hard-earned appointments. Two important activities are absolute, and essential to a successful sales meeting. Just showing up to shoot the breeze and winging it with the professionals critical to successful sales execution at high levels expected of today’s professional sales leaders.

Precall Planning:

Pre-call planning involves, in-depth analysis of the key objectives you uncovered in your appointment setting phase. You should also take a very high-level view, outlining a detailed process flow of successful execution of the sale(s) solutions. Example; You are a seller of a high end customized IT solution, that includes hardware, software, and services. While working with your client/prospect in securing your appointment, you learned the following Key Performance Indicators or objectives. If this is a follow-up appointment to a previous appointment; review your notes and action items and ensure there are no outstanding issues or actions that need to be addressed. Now, review your information and possible solution with your Sales and Service Delivery teammates and leaders. Capture in detail and document how your solutions will specifically address the key drivers around the Client/Prospect’s KPI’s. Build out a list of objectives for the appointment along with any tasks needed to be taken prior to the meeting and in support of obtaining your objectives.

Agenda Building:

Next, create a detailed agenda for the meeting, including times, and location. At a minimum; your agenda should include the following:

  1. Introductions including Host(s) Attendees and Roles.
  2. Detailed and concise objectives of the meeting.
  3. Review of previous discussions and activities.
  4. New information or changes since previous discussions
  5. Discuss solutions being considered or eliminated
  6. Present Key findings of proposed solutions
  7. Document action items and next steps
    1. Thank you’s and adjournment

Here is a sample agenda:

Follow Up:

After your appointment, it is an expected courtesy to send a thank you and follow up note. A follow-up Thank You note should include a summary of your notes from the meeting, and list of action items and designated owner of the action items. A timeline of when the action items will be included should also be presented. If you promised any follow-up collateral or boilerplate contracts, or Statement of Work, including as attachments to your follow up Thank You letter.

Close or Advance Sale:

After completion of all the action items and tasks outlined in your meeting objectives, follow up and confirm that you have met all the requirements and expectations of your client and or prospect, and ask what internal processes the client will need to complete in order to finalize the sale or solution. Ask if there are other individuals you should work directly with an offer to assist your client with any of their process requirements.

Conclusion:

By planning ahead and having a formal agenda, you will bring professionalism to your meetings and is a necessary activity in making a client or prospect comfortable working together with you. You will also make your prospect or client at ease and relieve them of some small tasks that they most likely undertake with every meeting. #GoodSelling #SalesExcellence. #SalesDevelopment

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