“What is a sales meeting?” asked one of my clients recently. He is a lawyer, let’s call him Robert, who had asked for my help with networking and business development (which is what professionals tend to call sales).
We were in the middle of a coaching session and I was just talking about converting a networking conversation into a sales meeting.
“What is a sales meeting” may seem a strange question to those of you who come from a sales background. It is a natural question for many of the people I work with who are professionals and experts in their field and need/want to attract clients and customers.
What I see with some professionals is that they only have ‘reactive’ conversations with potential clients. By this I mean that they react to an enquiry. As Benjamin Franklin said, “He that waits upon fortune is never sure of a dinner.”
Some professionals, like Robert, might be proactive in attending networking events but not sure how to convert these networking interactions into business, hence the conversation I was having with him.
So, what is a sales meeting? A sales meeting, in this context, is a meeting between a potential customer and a supplier of goods and services. The objective of the supplier is to sell his services and the objective of the potential customer is to decide whether he wants to buy from the supplier.
Often, especially in business to business scenarios, a series of meetings take place before the sale/purchase is agreed.
So why was it important for Robert to understand what a sales meeting is? In understanding what it is, he is clear on the purpose of the meeting. He can then prepare and structure the conversation to achieve his outcome.
Have you ever had a business conversation with someone and come away thinking “Well that was a nice conversation, but I don’t know what he/she wanted”?
It is important, when you are having a sales meeting, to clarify the purpose of the meeting at the outset, e.g. “My purpose today is to introduce myself to you, get to know you and to find out whether you have any need for the services that I provide.”
Remember to ask them what they would like to get out of the meeting too!
Having defined what a sales meeting is, let me also say what a successful sales meeting isn’t. It is not an opportunity for you to tell the potential client all about you, your business and your products and services.
If you would like some help in making your sales meetings more effective, check out some of my other blogs or get in touch to see how we can help you.