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How to Prepare for a Client Meeting?

Jun 8, 2022 | Customer meeting, Customer meeting, Customer meeting | 0 comments

We’ve noticed a trend in most sales teams: A Sales rep is hired, trained for 3 months, and thrown into the battlefield, expected to close his first deal immediately. Don’t misunderstand! There’s nothing wrong with this approach except that the first deal is often the hardest to nail.

Many virgin Sales reps we spoke to said they had no idea how to prepare for a client meeting when they were hired. While a few that have solicited for our guidance, kept asking questions such as: ” How do I make a good first impression?”,  “How do I calm my nerves?” and “What questions should I expect the client to ask?”

Therefore, we’ve concluded that most sales teams and even business owners have a missing manual for client meeting preparation. To bridge that gap, we’ve created this guide to help new Sales reps build confidence before meeting with a potential client and create mutual connections while they’re at it.

While this is a short piece, we’ve been able to squeeze in many details, which include: 

  • Pre-meeting rituals: Researching the client and his competitors
  • Preparing a list of FAQs
  • Creating a meeting agenda
  • Staging a rehearsal
  • Maintain a high energy level

Let’s jump right into it.

Pre-meeting Rituals: Research the client and his competitors

A good idea of whom you’re selling to is required to close any client. An excellent place to start is their name, what they do, choice of words, pain point, the industry they serve, their backstory, and company value. All these details can be extracted from the client’s website or social media handle.

In addition, we also encourage Sales professionals to research clients’ competitors since  analyzing the competitors offers an insight into the goals and objectives of prospective clients.

Prepare a list of FAQs.

You can brainstorm a couple of questions from your initial research. In addition, you can also leverage opinions from Sales experts who have a detailed knowledge of the industry your audience serves. For instance, when you use a tool such as SalesDeck for your meeting, you can review question cards played in previous meetings to come up with common questions that might pop up.

If you’re not a user of SalesDeck, we recommend you request the past recordings of customer meetings from your sales leader to identify a couple of questions that usually come up and add to your list. Following this process minimizes guesswork, and your preparation can be tailored around best practices.

Create a meeting agenda

 A meeting agenda serves as a roadmap and puts you in the driving seat in every business meeting. It also serves as your frame, and you shouldn’t let customers break this frame to take control of the conversation.

While a meeting agenda provides a good idea of how long a meeting will last, time slots for each element, attendees’ role and meeting location. An important point to add to every meeting agenda is the goal and objective of the client. Knowing this helps you create all the necessary steps to help them achieve that.

When you create a meeting agenda,ensure it goes through review from high-performing Sales experts as we believe their feedback helps minimize beginners’ errors. But the best insights usually come after the meeting. Feedbacks from team members help improve subsequent meetings and, to a stretch, the entire sales process.

If you need help with a meeting agenda, here’s a free template you can customize and use for yourself.

Stage a Mock-up Call on SalesDeck

You’ve researched your customers, their competitors, and likely questions they might ask. But still, your nerves are wracking, and you feel less confident even though you know what you’re going to say. Jumping into a meeting with such self-doubt could harm your chances of conversion. Most clients want to see the confidence in your product, and that confidence translates to their trust in the solution you provide.

To calm the nerves, we recommend you stage a mock-up call with a high-performing Sales professional. The high performer plays the role of the client while you act as the Sales rep. Doing this improves your confidence and eliminates the fear of coming face-to-face with the client. Even better, the high performer can review your performance in the meeting and inform you of areas that could use some improvement.

Businesses that use SalesDeck have adopted this technique in their onboarding process to cut average Sales rep ramp time by half.

Build positive energy before the call

A few days ago, James Buckley, Chief Evangelist of JB Sales, spoke about the importance of energy in sales in the latest episode of The Virtual Selling Podcast. James is a keen believer in maintaining positive energy in sales calls, just as we are.

Even though clients hardly speak about it, they silently observe your body language and the non-verbal cues you display during meetings. Using the correct body language pulls people in your direction and makes them responsive to your sales message.

So how do you maintain positive energy before a client meeting? A rare tool that has worked for James is listening to hype songs before a sales meeting. Such activity helps him build positive energy he transfers to the call. Perhaps you can also try this trick and see if it works out.

Make it a conversation, Not an Interview.

Most clients are surprised by how serious most Sales people are during a discovery call. This creates a tense atmosphere similar to that of a job interview. Yes! You want to close deals, but most deals are rarely closed on the first call.

 In most initial meetings, the client simply wants to verify that your company is worth his time. He wants to be sure that you understand him and that you have the skills to solve the problem. So, when preparing for a client meeting, have a fairly casual, getting-to-know-you sort of chat in mind and enjoy yourself while you’re at it. 

Conclusion

When they fail to close their first deal, junior Sales reps go hard on themselves. I know it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but certain things are not under your control. You can control nailing a good pitch, but you can’t control someone being turned off by your pricing plan.

Therefore, Sales professionals should focus on nailing a value-packed pitch that’s highly conversational. Besides, if you aim to go from new hire to a closed deal in 6 weeks, go here to see how SalesDeck can help you achieve that. But if you’ve heard enough and are convinced that SalesDeckis all your sales team needs to hit the right numbers, we have a few empty slots left in our Early Adopter Program.

Interested in learning more about scaling your sales team while successfully maintaining your conversion rate, team motivation and engagement? At SalesDeck, we provide you with tools and resources to improve the efficiency of your sales team. 

Join the Early Adopter Program today to be part of a leading sales solution provider (limited spots available!), or grow your sales training business by becoming a Partner.

To track launch updates, join the waiting list or book a demo!

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