Let’s face it: crushing sales meetings isn’t a cakewalk.
From scheduling, planning, and preparation to demonstration, handling objections, and trust-building, you need to take care of a lot of things amidst anxiety. And if you miss out on any of them, you are more likely to miss the deal.
To navigate this chaos and increase prospects’ chances of hitting the buy button, you need a rock-solid strategy and preparation for every sales call.
That’s why, I’ll give you a step-by-step sales meeting checklist, so you can control every meeting instead of facing clients with a deadpan face.
1. Know Your Prospects
It’s not about you. It’s about them — this statement has become the number 1 rule of business.
Knowing your prospect’s ins and outs not only helps you create a personalized pitch evolving their pain points but also shows that ‘you actually care for them.’
Plus, when you are familiar with your prospects, you can use the meeting to build a genuine bond rather than wasting it by asking some obvious questions.
Therefore, dive deeper into the prospect’s every nitty-gritty detail, including:
- Pain points
- Unique selling point
- Organizational size
- Vendor relationships
- Total sales and revenue
- Customer demographics
- Their potential customers
Even that’s not enough!
In a situation where your competitors are constantly luring your prospects, you should take a step further to understand the main decision-makers—their thought process, personality, communication style, their vision, and where they mostly hang out. Getting familiar with these will foster winning their buy-ins by giving you an extra edge over your rivals.
2. Define Your Goals and Create An Agenda
Just like a ship needs a destination to set its course, you must know what exactly you want to accomplish from the sales meeting. Do you want to address some specific challenges they have right now, do you want a free trial, or a final commitment?
Whatever it is, defining end goals will provide you with a sense of direction, eliminating extra confusion and chaos.
Then, create a solid agenda based on your defined goals. It will ensure all the important topics are getting covered and keep the discussion on track.
As Anuj Choudhary, the Sales Executive at Richs Products Corporation, says,
“See, it’s really very important to create an agenda prior to any sales meeting because it may help everyone in the team to relate themselves with all the conversations that may occur in the meeting.”
Generally, a meeting agenda includes details like meeting objection, duration, agenda items, next steps, and actions. Now, send this agenda to all the attendees for final approval.
3. Prepare Relevant Materials
A poorly planned sales meeting often leads to rejection. Worse, it provokes client ghosting. Therefore, prepare all the necessary materials like presentation slides, product samples, client testimonials, and case studies (most important) to streamline your performance.
If possible, manage your time and visualize the whole scenario beforehand. Brainstorm possible objections and get ready with the solutions.
4. Build A Rapport With the Decision-Makers
The sales reps often memorize the same worn-out sales script and vomit it in front of decision-makers — a big turn-off in this AI era. After all, who wants to be sold?
Instead, focus on building a genuine relationship throughout the conversation by addressing their main challenges. You dug deeper into their personality and communication style, so use that research and make them the hero of their journey.
Point out their struggles and showcase how your product or service can ease their life. Flaunt case studies, so they can picture themselves getting rid of their present problems using your product.
Here’s a simple framework by Kyle Coleman to help you build credibility and a real connection with your prospects.
5. Document the Conversation
Meeting documentation might seem irrelevant, but you’d be amazed to know how much it’s beneficial in the long run.
Research says short-term memory lasts only for a few seconds to hours. So, if you don’t capture the conversation with your potential customers, you will likely forget the important points, objections, and key takeaways that you need for future follow-ups.
But manual documentation while talking with prospects is seriously daunting — it breaks the rhythm. Worse, your prospects might assume they aren’t being heard.
So, to automate your note-taking process, you can lean into some meeting-minute software like Magic Minutes, Tactiq, or Beenote.
Also, don’t forget to share it with other team members to ensure accuracy and eliminate future misunderstandings.
6. Ask For Feedback
If your sales cycle is incredibly long, asking for feedback is your best bet to cut it down and win buy-ins faster.
Therefore, encourage your prospects to contribute to your performance at the closure time of the meeting. Ask them how much they like your product and what’s restricting them from signing up for free trials or subscriptions.
This will give you a hint about whether this deal is worth chasing in the first place. In addition, it’ll empower you to align your strategies with their needs and improve overall sales performance.
As Sabri Suby, the founder of KingKong, says,
“Ask them…on a scale of 1 to 10, where are we sitting? In terms of, 1 is you wouldn’t go ahead even if I give it for free, and 10 is you are ready to roll tomorrow… that’s the best pulse read ever on a call in a sales cycle to find out where you are.”
7. Send Personalized Follow-Ups
A discovery call is just the starting point. It takes constant nudges and effort to seal any deal. And the process begins the moment you hang up the call.
To send a post-meeting follow-up, take out the meeting document and list some important key takeaways. Next, send them to your prospects with clear CTAs within 30 minutes after the sales meeting. It demonstrates your commitment to your prospects and sets you apart from the generic sales reps.
Here’s a quick guideline by Kyle Coleman to send a personalized follow-up after a sales meeting.
8. Build a Long-term Relationship
People generally buy from people they trust. And when it comes to trust-building, most sales reps drop the ball.
That’s because it requires patience and attention to detail. No two prospects are the same. What if a prospect is almost ready to buy, and another one hasn’t even opted for the trial?
Sales reps often send the same generic follow-ups to each of their potential customers and end up closing zero deals.
Therefore, here are some best practices to build credibility and a genuine connection with prospects:
- Personalize follow-up emails
- Respond promptly to any queries
- Share case studies and testimonials
- Reiterate the value you can deliver
- Adopt consultative approach
Make Your Next Sales Meeting a Success
No matter whether you are a seasoned salesperson or a newbie, the pressure of performing to your best haunts everyone. But with practice and solid preparation, you can ace any sales meeting and level up your sales performance.
About the Author
Manjusha Pal is a B2B SaaS writer and editor, helping businesses generate traffic and conversion with compelling data-driven content. Follow me on LinkedIn.