What do you do after you have booked a customer meeting until the day of the meeting? A while ago I read an article, by the Finnish sales coaches Micah D. Rubanovitsch and Tero Nieminen, about what each seles person should do between a booked meeting and the meeting itself.
They mean that the dialogue between you the customer must start way before the first meeting. The article gives an example of a salesperson who had booked a meeting with the authors. Two weeks after they have booked the meeting, they still hadn’t heard from the salesperson. The meeting was just around the corner and not a word. What could the salesperson have done instead? What would YOU have done?
Start the customer’s buying process
A booked meeting is the start of the sales process, you know that the customer is interested and you have their attention. You’ve kicked off your sales process, but have you started the customer’s buying process?
Take this opportunity to gather all the information you might need, without taking too much time of the customer. Keep it simple and send over some questions about the customer’s needs and current situation by e-mail. This way, you get the customer to start thinking, and they will feel that you are committed. The answers will give you the opportunity be really well prepared and hold a great meeting.
In addition to asking questions, share some information about yourself, your skills, your business and what products you offer. Maybe send a movie, a presentation or just a link to your website. Sometimes it may also be good to talk about references at an early stage. Again, before the meeting.
You have a head start – get your best customer meeting ever!
By both sharing and collecting information before the meeting, you’ve gotten yourself several major advantages. You can now come to the meeting and:
- Already have started the customers’ buying process
- Know the customers’ needs and current situation
- Know that the customer knows you and what benefits your products have
- Know that the customer already knows about your satisfied customers
Since you’ve already started the customer’s buying process before the meeting, you can leave the meeting and come much further than your competitors. The goal is to not end up in a situation where the customers asks “can you send me some more information?” or says “I will get back to you if I have any questions”. Already at the meeting, you should be able to book the next step. Remember: never end a meeting (even if it’s a phone meeting) without deciding the next step. It is the best way for you to continue to push forward in the customers buying process.
So, go out and start the buying process for the meetings you already have booked, before your competitors get ahead of you. Good luck!