The first sales meeting can be tough. Prospects do not have a lot of trust. Further, a lot relies on the success of this meeting so that you can have a second, and eventually a paying client. Thus, when you are called on to lead a first sales conversation with someone who you have not spoken to before, it can be a little tricky. You need to find out what they are interested in without actually asking them. The top sales people I know ask questions skillfully and listen very carefully for answers. Then, these help reveal a prospect’s unmet needs.
Steps to nail your first meeting
Be open and clear
One of the most important things you can do when holding any kind of sales meeting is to be direct and transparent. When you have clearly laid out what it is that you hope to achieve, you give the people listening something tangible they can resonate with. This may be written down in a formal presentation for investors such as a PowerPoint presentation or an executive summary.
Ask the right questions
Asking the right questions in sales meetings is one of the most important factors in determining whether a prospect will become a customer. It’s what you ask that makes all the difference. A few good questions to ask in a sales meeting include: What are your top priorities? Conduct research into their company to understand more about them. Your questions should focus on finding their unmet needs. Build your credibility by asking the right questions. After you find the needs, figure out how your product or service address these needs.
The first thing you need to do in your first sales meeting is build rapport with the prospect. This means asking them questions and truly listening to their answers. By genuinely showing interest in the prospect, they will begin to trust you enough to tell you when there is a chance for a sale. Remember it is not just about what’s in it for them, but why you are there? Because if they don’t buy into your reasons why, then they won’t be buying into your product or service either. Building rapport is vital because it forms the foundation upon which all other selling will be built upon.
Give a demo
Make time to demo your product or service. You need to deliver a sales demo and show, in practice, how your product actually works. Do not wait for the formal part of the meeting before showing what you have to offer. The best demos highlight the value of the product or service, so focus on the benefits rather than specific features.
Build the future
Start by talking about the future. Whatever you’re trying to sell, it’s not just a matter of making improvements in the status quo, but creating a better future for your customer. Appeal to their imagination if possible by discussing how this product or service can benefit them down the road. In fact, this is why you should always present an introduction of your product or service before leading into the specifics. How will your product help them generate more return? How will it fit into their future plans?
Schedule the next point of contact
One of the key components of your first meeting is ensuring that there is a clear next step, whether it’s another call, longer meeting or actual purchase. You can set up this next step by scheduling an appointment directly after your first meeting or collecting email addresses and phone numbers from your team so that you can follow up as soon as possible. Although emails are convenient in their own way, don’t underestimate the power of making live calls on your prospects. The more personalised you can make them, the better chance of further engaging with them. Ultimately, you can keep progressing towards closing sales.