Don’t Wing Your Meetings (II)


Selling with the buyer’s perspective means we see the world from a stakeholder’s view and your preparation should reflect that. The first few minutes of your call reveals your situational knowledge about the prospect’s business and that you have been thinking, like them, about their business challenges and goals.

So research and situational knowledge are crucial to be prepared for any call. What is the next step to take your preparation to the next level? For that, there are three questions to consider:

  1. What outcome do I need from this call?
  2. What is the desired outcome for my contact?
  3. What questions do I anticipate?


  • What outcome do I need from this call?
    • For your first call with a prospect, this can be as simple as getting the commitment and time for a more extended meeting.
    • Or, your desired outcome is to have shared an insight that causes your contact to believe they got to, at least, exploring change.
    • For a follow-up call, it can be getting the commitment to involve more stakeholders.
    • An objective for subsequent meetings is to let the customer discover something about themselves, which makes them realize they are more exposed to risks than they initially thought.

The next important question is to see the meeting from your customer’s perspective;

  • What is the desired outcome for your contact? What do they really need that creates value for them? 
    • Maybe they intend to hear from you what is new, what is trending with similar businesses in their industry.
    • They may be interested in hearing some ideas and best practices you have noticed with similar customers relevant to their challenges.
    • Maybe they are further down the buying process already, and they want to explore options. You need to make sure you can re-confirm the choices they are thinking of by providing evidence of research or other facts.
    • Buyers are hungry for insights, ideas, and choices available to help them understand what makes sense to do as a next step.
    • Be prepared to deliver the information they are after. Information that creates value for them. Once you deliver, they will commit to the next step because of that valuable experience.
    • Different stakeholders have different motives for meeting with you. Executives focus on strategic outcomes and wonder what you have to offer. Contacts at an operational level are more interested in tactical improvements.
  • What questions do you anticipate?
    • They may ask, have you done this before?
    • What is your proof, what results have you delivered for others?
    • What risks are you talking about?; can you share something with me?
    • How does your solution actually work? Show me, please.
    • Or, give me one good reason why we should explore a change?

That is all part of your preparation!

Last thing. Once you pick-up the phone or meet in person with your stakeholder(s), make sure you have a notebook next to you with:

  • Notes on how you want the call to go, using the three above questions
  • Talk-Tracks you might need to use, you want to stay in control of the process.
  • A sketch of the buying room so you know who else may be interested in what you have to say.

Make sure your customer is following you. Verify this several times during the call. Success starts with solid preparation and your intention to make any interaction a GREAT experience for your customer. Are you prepared? Don’t wing it.

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