Note: This post originally appeared on the Venture Accelerator Partners website. It has been reposted here with permission from the author.

Meetings are often one of the most important components of a B2B sale. Roughly half the sales effort is attaining the meeting and the other half is what you do in the meeting.  What you do before and after the meeting are important, but don’t minimize the meeting itself. Below are my top 10 tips for a successful sales B2B meeting.

  1. Goals Make sure that you have goals for the meeting. These goals should help you move the opportunity towards being closed. Goals could include both understanding the buying decision and validating a prospect’s interest in your solution. It was a successful meeting if you achieve your goals.
  2. Next steps At the end of each meeting next steps should be discussed with the customer or prospect. Next steps can include a proposal, meeting with a decision maker or a demo of the solution.
  3. Ask questions At the start of the meeting, ask a lot of questions so you can better understand the target’s pain, environment, and goals. This will help you to align your solutions to the targets interest.
  4. What is in it for them Always ensure that you understand why the customer called the meeting. You will want to meet their needs for the meeting as well, not just your agenda.
  5. Don’t interrupt If the customer is talking don’t cut them off.  First, it is rude and second, they could be about to say something that would significantly help the meeting.
  6. Research before the meeting There are many sources available to research a customer before a meeting. Research the customer and contact through the company site, search engines, and through social media tools like LinkedIn, all of which can significantly help the meeting.
  7. Focus on what you have learned Take what you have learned in the meeting from the customer to alter your pitch and focus. Target the things that the customer is interested in versus going through all your products and features.
  8. Create pauses Don’t forget to stop talking and allow for comments from the customer. This gives them the opportunity to ask questions or provide comments.
  9. Introductions There may be new people in the meeting that you have not met before. Introductions help to understand why they might be in the meeting and the role they could play in the decision.
  10. Don’t be late There is nothing worse than being late for a meeting. Always focus on being early; Canada deals with poor weather and traffic conditions, therefore plan your trip ahead by leaving yourself ample time. Before the meeting, find the closest coffee shop with wifi to spend extra time if you do arrive early.

If you would like some help with setting up a team strategy in order to get the most out of your meetings or would like some help booking meetings, please connect with me and we can discuss your needs.

Mark Elliott

Mark Elliott is the co-founder of Venture Accelerator Partners, a company that provides part-time sales and marketing assistance to growing technology firms. Mark has over 15 years of sales, marketing and management experience. See more…