December 7, 2014
When it comes to B2B selling, it’s rare to close a sales deal during the first meeting. Many salespeople find that you have to schedule a meeting with a user or technical buyer before speaking with an economic decision-maker. Typically they would like to have a follow up meeting where they invite their supervisor and other decision-makers within the organization. Unlike a one-on-one sit down, you have to prepare a presentation for a group of people.
This group presentation will likely be attended by people holding various positions at the company. Although they may not all be the final decision-maker, they should all be considered your buyer. Identifying the people who will contribute to your sale, and what position they hold, will help you connect with those people and shorten your sales cycle. Here are three tips to help you prepare for your meeting.
Research Everyone Attending
I cannot stress enough how imperative it is that you take the time to know everyone who will be attending the presentation. It’s easy to assume that the supervisors or economic decision-makers are in the same department as a user buyer. Decision-makers can vary when it comes to the role they play in their organizations. By taking the time to do your research you will be prepared for the questions that each individual is likely to ask. For example, if you know that the head of technology and marketing will be attending the meeting, you can mentally ready yourself by preparing answers to questions regarding the rollout strategy of your product or negotiations on pricing.
Send Important Documents in Advance
It makes your meeting more effective when you send informational documents to economic decision-makers prior to your meeting. You don’t want to rely on the summary that was given from your first meeting. Documents I recommend sending will be the FAQ, pricing, and a draft of the contract. The FAQ is great for providing a better understanding of your product, and it will eliminate simple questions early, allowing the meeting to be more constructive. One of the biggest factors that make or break a deal is the pricing. It’s better that they have an idea of what it costs before attending the presentations. Last, but not least, is a contract template. The contract negotiations usually are the longest step in a sales cycle. By giving them a chance to read it beforehand, you can shorten your sales cycle tremendously. They will have time to make edits and go over questions face-to-face. This is a process that can otherwise take weeks of back-and-forth over email.
Make Your Presentation Personal
Everyone can relate to personal storytelling. Especially when the story is tailored to their personal situations. The majority of my presentations are in front of directors/executives of high schools and universities. I always tell a story about a problem that University X faced, and tell the story of how I was able to contribute to the solution. This is a great way to have your audience really engaged, because they may have the same problems. A key side note for PowerPoint: I always make sure to customize my slides to fit the colors and logo of the school I am speaking with. This is applicable with any B2B sales: Consider matching your slides to the colors that your customer has chosen for their company logo.
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