A GOOD MEETING REQUIRE MORE THAN WORDS
Before you start reading about how to perform different meetings remember this: People tend to only listen or remember the first parts of what you say. Therefore it is important to fill the first part of your speech, presentation, interview etc. with ‘for you positive things’.
Here are a few examples of different openings of your meetings.
- What is important for you is to tell what differentiates you and your company from your competitors. Start off the presentation with this, even before you present your company and product.
- Start off by putting the solution you eventually want to present in perspective. Do that by asking the audience what they are doing during the workdays, most likely they will answer speaking on the telephone, participating in meetings, working in projects, or whatever they fill their days with. Then you ask, why they do that? Likely answers are that they do it to finish their tasks. Then you counter them with question about for whom do they go to the office every day, isn’t it to help their clients and help them get a better everyday life in some way? The customers are real people by flesh and blood with names. Once the listeners realize that, they will also listen more to how you can help them more and faster. This is a really powerful opening that really makes you get their attention.
- Start with the power words you really want the audience to remember.
In today’s really hectic business life it is vital to quickly make a difference. Humans judge other humans by their behaviour, looks, speak etc. the first minutes they meet. Therefore you really need to gain their trust and stand out from the rest. Also remember to keep the story of your company really short. No one is interested in listening to long stories about how big, powerful or good your company is. The clients wants to hear about your understanding of their specific problems or situation and how you can solve those. This why they agreed to meet you. If they were interested in were you have your offices, how nice it is to work at your office, or anything else, they would have gone to your web and read it there. Therefore, when you are presenting your company, focus on what you really want them to remember about your company, how you differ from others on a company level. It is also vital to make the client feel the following.
- How your company differs from your competitors.
- That what you are there to talk about is core business for your company.
- That you have done it before, use references, how many clients you have helped with similar problems etc. Reference stories should reoccur throughout your presentation. It is really powerful with the recognition effect.
LISTENERS ONLY REMEMBERS APPROXIMATELY 5 – 7 PERCENT OF WHAT YOU HAVE SAID
Your presentation could be built up like this:
- Your opening by choice
- Company elevator pitch (Starting point of your formal presentation)
- The agenda
- Short about your company
- Description of the problems you solve
- Description of the solutions
- Your recipe for success and how you differentiate yourselves
- Summary (Involve the client in doing the summary, see below)
- If relevant, go through the remaining steps of your process to be clear
- Remember that the listeners only remembers approximately 5 – 7 percent of what you have said. Take control of these percentages throughout your presentation by repeating the things that you really want them to remember. We recommend to repeat what differentiates your product or company, that others experience the same problem, how others have improved thanks to your solution.
THE 45 – 60 MINUTE MEETING
Always! Set the scene: Explain why you are there and what is supposed to be discussed during the meeting. You should also ask the client what they expect to get out of the meeting and what you want to get out, i.e. the goal with the meeting. This is also where you walk through the agenda. Don’t forget to write it on the white board! (If you have one.) Also, check that the agreed meeting time is still valid and haven’t changed! This is important so that you don’t find out in mid meeting that the client wanted to shorten the meeting. Then you risk missing your goal with the meeting. All individuals present themselves with name and role.(If you have the time ask what personal goals these individuals have with the meeting.) Interview phase: Interview the client to identify the true needs (not only the wants) and problems the client experience. Do not forget to ask for the holy dates (start of delivery, delivery and when they can sign a contract). If the person you meet do not know these dates you have two likely scenarios: [one_half valign=”top” animation=”none”]
REMEMBER TO ASK THE QUESTION WHY AT LEAST 5 TIMES!
[/one_half] [one_half_last valign=”top” animation=”none”]
- The client is not in a purchase mode. You might even have met a person who likes to kill time by listening and learning about your area.
- The person you meet is not the power sponsor.
[/one_half_last] The dates question is a good qualifying question to ask to get access to the power sponsor. If the person you meet do not know the dates, ask them who does and if that person can be involved in a possible new next step meeting. Present your company: Remember that the client is more interested in if and how you can help them with their problem than listening to facts about your company.
- Keep this extremely short and focus on what really differentiates your company from your competitors!
- Remember to talk about relevant references in this phase. Good stories about how you helped others with similar problems are really strong and build credibility!
Show your “trailer”: Give the client a taste of your solution. Remember you are here to sell not to list a lot of facts! This part of the meeting aims to secure the clients interest in your solution and how you can help them with their problem. This is a really important step in the meeting and it should be presented with enthusiasm. Show the client that you have a true passion for this, it will affect them. Again, remember to include relevant references also in this phase! Summary: Involve the client in the summary of the meeting. Write a + and a – on the board and ask the client what it would mean if they;
- 1. do not resolve their problem (from a client’s client, revenue, work situation, employee, profit, service perspective).
- 2. resolve their problem (from a client’s client, revenue, work situation, employee, profit, service perspective).
Book next meeting: Before you ask for a next meeting you need to explain what that means. The client will likely not book a next meeting if they do not know what that is and what’s in it for them. Therefore, describe what a next step is “If you find this interesting, our next step is this…” Preferably write all activities you need to walk through with the client to get a contract, that makes it clear for them). Once that is done, bring your smart phone calendar (preferably one integrated with your mobile CRM) to the table and ask when you can have the next meeting and who should receive an invitation.