Meeting Preparation for Sales Pros: Bring the Soft Skills!

Meeting Preparation for Sales

Last week, during our Monday morning Sales meeting, we discussed Meeting Prep and Facilitation. The latter half of the meeting turned into a roundtable with more of the experienced professionals sharing the soft tactics they employ to help them be successful.

Obviously, you need a plan for the meeting; what you want to accomplish, what the agenda is, etc. John Barrows (@johnmbarrows) has great content on this – same with Dan Fisher (@dantfisher), but in addition to those, here are some of the softer things we came up with:

You don’t have to park in a visitor’s spot:

Sometimes you will be coming from another meeting. You have to kill time, check emails, and maybe freshen up, but there’s no need to do it in the visitor’s spot which is generally outside someone’s office window.  First impressions matter – don’t let it be you applying lipstick or deodorant in your car.

Don’t be a Lobby Dud:

Getting there early isn’t enough; and sitting on the phone or tablet for 10-15 minutes isn’t a good look.  Engage with the receptionist if there is one and learn more about the company, that person or the current state of the business. Someone is proud of that lobby for a specific reason – read/observe, and digest the different awards, facts and history that they have posted.

Building rapport:

It’s okay to ask someone where they worked before or where they drive from every day. Pay attention to their office photos, keychain, stickers on their phone, etc. Tons of clues exist for you to strike up a conversation that isn’t related to business – it’s where real relationships are born.

Mimic the persons pace:

Do you they walk quickly? Are they excitable or more even keel? Do they want to dive right into business or are they giving you a chance to connect first?  Make sure you pay attention to this – body language says a lot about how you communicate and if you’re going to be a good fit together.

Write a “Thank You” note:

Think about how different your “thank you” will be with the information you have above – you can reference what you saw or your conversations in the lobby, or a common interest with the person you are meeting – and yes, of course include a recap of the meeting and what the action items are, as any thorough professional should.

I hope these can help anyone going on a client meeting or maybe even a job interview. Feel free to comment with the ones we missed as well!

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