We write these types of guides for you, our client. As 95% of our customers are businesses we like to try and offer some helpful tips and guides to make life easier in the harsh world of corporate business. This week I delve into the first impression, the first meeting. The thing that sets the tone for a potential business partnership, no matter what industry.
Making your First Time Meetings Work
There are some helpful tips below that will assist you in closing more sales by approaching first time meetings with an edge over your competitors.
Study the client prior to the meeting
You should always take the time to do some research on your perspective clients. Not only should you learn about the business or company you’re dealing with, but you should also learn about the specific buyer you will meet with. Reviewing search engine results and social media profiles will give you some insight that may help you tremendously during your meeting.
Make sure you and the buyer are on the same level
As soon as you sit down to meet with your buyer you should immediately focus on what their communication strategies are. If they seem like they enjoy some courteous chit chat, follow suit. However if they seem like the type of person that only has time for business, make sure you get straight to the point. Let them lead the communication forte.
Mirror the other persons behavior
When you meet with a buyer, your main goal is to appeal to them so they will be more likely to do business with you on a continuous basis. If they are acting strictly professional, you stick to business, if they seem laid back, loosen up a little bit. If you mirror their mannerisms, you will appeal to their personality.
Don’t dribble on about your company
Most sales representatives and/or sales people start their meetings off telling the buyers about the company. However, the truth is that will bore most buyers.
They will lose interest quickly, and want to hurry the rest of the meeting. Remember, they’re busy people too. Start the meeting off talking about their needs. It will keep them communicating back and forth with you, and it shows interest in their needs. You can say things like, “So what is it that is most important to you in a product (or services)?” If they take it upon themselves to ask questions about the company, answer with information that is relevant to the sale. Try not to give them information that is, for lack of a better word, useless. For example, the company’s high volume of sales may be appropriate because it shows that they are widely used and trusted. However, if you were planning on going into a speech about the year the company was established, you may want to leave that stuff out.
Ask relevant questions only
You should never ask questions that are strictly black and white, or yes and no. You should be asking your buyers questions that give you an idea of what they will be expecting from you, and what they will be expecting form your products or services, and more. If you ask simple yes or no questions it will leave too much to the imagination and you will most likely end up in a misunderstanding of some kind.
Understand and listen to everything the client says
No matter how thought out and greatly executed your questions are, they serve no purpose if you are not listening, or don’t understand what your buyer is trying to get across to you. Make sure you are listening very carefully to everything being said during your meeting. If you don’t understand something, simply ask a question about it that will help you understand. Don’t just ignore it, and keep going
Ask if you can follow up, don’t just pester the client afterwards
When your meeting is winding down and you think you’ve gathered a sufficient amount of information, Ask if they have any other questions for you. If their answer is no, try and close the sale. If you cannot close a sale during the first meeting, discuss a follow up meeting with them. Even if you do close on a sale, you should still discuss a follow up meeting. You can say something like, “How about I stop by next month some time to see if you need anything else or have any other questions?” Be sure to discuss a specific time and day.