Unit 5 | The Sales Diamond™
Engagement Techniques and Tools
Successful meetings depend on careful planning and preparation. Know what the client wants and don’t lose the opportunity to build your brand!
Engagement in Meetings
Improve the quality of your meetings by engaging your clients with thoughfully planned use of both your time and theirs.
One of the most frequent and important activities that a sales person engages in are client meetings. They have many purposes and consume, in aggregate, more client/consultant time than any other activity. They can be non-productive and a waste of time for all parties if there is no plan. Client meetings require structure, planning and a stated outcome or goal to be a success. The following section describes how to engage your client, and defines the stages of a successful business development meeting.
Planning Successful Meetings
- Set a SMARTER goal for the meeting
- Ask the questions: Why, What, Who, When, Where and How as it relates to the meeting and its purpose
- Are the right people invited?
- What are the expectations for the meeting – for everyone
- Who is in charge? The facilitator sets the time by taking control
1. Prepare An Agenda
- State expectations and tone for the meeting
- Provide a point form summary of the issues and keeps you on track
- Outline the previous and current business items or issues
2. Qualify, Clarify and Confirm The Purpose of the Meeting
- Directly establish outcome objectives and expectations – state what is in it for the client
- Ensure buy-in from the client to address the agenda items
- Identify and remove potential barriers
3. Establish a Timeframe, Outcome Objectives + Expectations
- Start and completion times
- Clearly determine expectations for the client and yourself
- Identify priority and secondary issues
4. Meeting Strategy
- Overview of major points or issues to be discussed
- Review agenda and discussion / actions from the last meeting
- Delivery of the material supporting the agenda items: information, reports, research, proposed strategy, etc.
Questions, Discovery and Confirmation of discussions
- Ask specific open-ended questions of the client to ensure their understanding and support of the issues, e.g. who, what, why, where, when, how.
- Review the key points that were discussed to ensure the client is aligned on the outcome and committed to the next step.
- What specific activities or actions are required – who is responsible, what is the timeline, what promises were made, etc.
- Benchmarks for follow-up activities.
- List of what needs to be done, by whom, and when.
- Letter, fax, email, phone call, time and date of next meeting.