Here’s something that you can do in your very next client/prospect meeting to set this Mo Fo off properly and get some additional benefits.
I’d like for you to consider using an agenda statement. An agenda statement is used to lay out the specifics of the meeting and also:
Set the tone for a collaborative meeting (kind of important, right?)
Take control; without being controlling. Can I get a group AMEN when I say there is a huge difference between the two?
Create a powerful and lasting impression of you as a potential rock star to consider as a partner.
Here’s how I break it down:
Part I: Show gratitude and tell them what the plan is:
Part II: Tell them how long you will need
Part III: Ask if there is anything they want to add (Don’t forget, this is a collaborative meeting so we want to set that tone immediately)
Here’s how I usually begin my meetings. Please adjust for your particular style.
(Prospect’s name) First and foremost, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. With your permission, let’s:
1) Talk about you and your company. Specifically any challenges or opportunities that we could put our heads together on.
2) Discuss how we have been able to help other (I fill in the blank) Manufacturers, Healthcare, companies in the NY area etc.
3) Decide on a next step that makes sense.
Depending on you, I expect we should need about (fill in the blank) Note: Notice how I said “Depending on you” I say that because good meetings often go beyond the time we originally agreed on. I leave that up to them so they know I was true to my original promise to keep it at a certain amount of time.
Note (numero dos) Some reps feel that you should never remind someone how much time you need because it might invite push back or a reschedule. Personally, I’d rather get everything out on the table upfront instead of proceeding and then 15 mins in, I’m told they only have 5 mins more. I can always deal with time issues better when I know on the front end!
Is there anything that we should add to the agenda?
I then transition into the meat and potatoes of the meeting and launch into my needs analysis by saying:
Great! Let me start by asking you this . . .
Believe it or not, the agenda statement is an important step in the process because it helps you to take control of the meeting and get the proper selling environment!
How many times have we arrived at a meeting only to get the feeling a prospect was expecting us to sort of entertain them with a "pitch"? How many times have we started a meeting only to get slammed with pricing questions that would be disastrous to answer at that point because we haven't had time to build value? The agenda statement can help you in that department and help you demonstrate your facilitation skills and a quiet confidence in the way you took the reigns of the meeting.
Today’s Reflection: Try this agenda statement on for size! Tweak it to your style and personality (your prospect’s too) Know when its better to be more casual.
Will this be the thing that you do that ultimately gets you the deal? Do you think your prospect will say to you “Dude, that agenda statement was what made me decide to give you the green light”? Doubt it! But, add this into a mix with lots of other things you do better and more consistently than your competition and you now have created a mega difference!
Our success won't be found in the "Big Answer" ladies and gentlemen. It lies in being impeccable and focusing on the details!
Go get ‘em!
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