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Keep Business Meetings from Getting out of Hand

By Anika Davis Subscribe to RSS | May 10th 2012 | Views:
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Of course building a favorable first impression with new business leads is imperative, however - and this cannot be stressed enough - one must not forget that the main purpose of any appointment is acquiring information.

Not a few sales  people have gone to a meeting with their business leads, reported to the boss that the appointment setting was a success, but when the boss asks about what services the leads particularly require, the salesman merely responds with a sheepish face.

Business appointments can easily get out of hand, especially when the appointment is scheduled over lunch, dinner, or even golf (although these types of meetings tend to occur mostly with return clients). Business leads tend to steer the conversation away from “what the salesman needs to know about the client” to “what the client wants to know about the salesman’s company”.

That said, it is the responsibility of the salesman to get the conversation focused on the needs of the client. Although the salesman is required to present a background of his company, the purpose of these business appointments is first and foremost identifying the specific problems and issues that the client is facing (or is perceived to be facing). Though these issues have already been identified when the business leads are in the qualification process, the appointments enable the salesman to get an accurate picture of the problem and consider which solutions are viable based on the responses of the business leads.

To facilitate the direction of business appointments and ensure that they produce the intended results, here are a few tips for interested sales people:

prepare a concise background and description of your company for the initial introduction to keep this necessary yet often overbearing part of the meeting in check.

bring a list of potential questions and follow-up questions based on the anticipated answers of sales leads. Some examples can be: how long the problem or issue has existed, what steps have been done to remedy the issue, how much of the corporation or production sector is affected by the specific issue, and most importantly, how much the company intends to spend on finances, time and manpower to remedy the issue.

take note of how the business leads respond to each question and consider the following question based on these responses.

As a bonus tip: Do send your business leads a letter of gratitude afterwards for the meeting. This should be specifically personalized for each client, highlighting the topics during the discussion, perhaps even a comment on the wonderful choice of the client for the venue.

Anika Davis - About Author:
Anika Davis is a marketing executive for Leads and Appointments. And has a proven track record in helping b2b companies generate qualified sales leads through telemarketing, search engine marketing and email marketing. Find more lead generation tips and how to's at www.leadsandappointments.com

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