I saw this post from Ed Sim that succinctly sums up some basic principles for running sales meetings.
I want to point this post out because it was written from the buyer’s perspective. Ed is a VC. His post is a set of guidelines to help technology firms when pitching to him for investment. However, the rules he sets out apply equally to when you are selling your technology to IT buyers. I have paraphrased his rules below and added some of my own commentary.
Notice the repeated theme of engaging your prospect in a conversation not being a “talking head”. Successful sales meetings should be discussions, with the prospect doing 70-80% of the talking. If you leave a sales meeting having done most of the talking, then you will be lucky to ever from that prospect again.
Basic Guidelines for a Sales Meeting
- Be flexible: have an agenda but listen to your audience and guide the conversation from their reactions
- Have a well-honed elevator pitch (you usually need this to get the meeting in the first place)
- The Slide Deck: make it short and sweet
- Listen and ask questions: have a conversation!
- The Demo: have proof that your solution works and have plans to deal with the inevitable glitches that occur with demos
- Next steps: never forget to ask about the next steps, You cannot move a sale forward without next steps.
- Pre-Meeting Research: research the individual and the firm before the meeting – so you can ask intelligent questions
Ed’s post is written by a buyer of technology who by his own account has experienced many poor sales presentations. Follow the simple rules above and you can stand out from 80% of your competition.