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Ways To Conduct A Productive Sales Meeting

Tim Millett
Published by Tim Millett
08 October 2013

If sales is a huge part of your company’s business, then conducting productive sales meetings is vital to landing a new client or keeping an older one happy with your services. If you have noticed that your sales meetings are running too long or too short, that most meetings end up without a sale or lack of customer interest, then you should look at how these meetings are conducted to see where changes can be made. Many times, small changes such as location and time can make all the difference.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Where you hold your sales meeting can really make a difference in the way customers listen to your pitch and in their response. While most customers will suggest meeting you in their offices, if you want to personalize the meeting to make it less formal, invite them to lunch at a nearby restaurant or café instead. Plan a later or early lunch so it will be less crowded and deliver your sales pitch then. A neutral location will also remove distractions from staff and phone calls.

Most customers are flattered that you offered to buy them lunch and may feel obligated to listen to your pitch. They may also appreciate the atmosphere change and are more likely to consider what you have to say.

WHEN TO END YOUR PITCH

Preparing your sales pitch in advance will give you an idea of how long it will take. If it takes you more than fifteen minutes to share your plans with a customer, then you may lose a sale. Understand that customers may be just as busy as you during the day and may not have the time to listen to more than a fifteen minute pitch.

If your pitch takes less than five minutes, then your customer may have a lot of unanswered questions. Five minutes is usually not enough to provide customers with everything they need to know. If your pitch is lacking in important information, then you need to include more before presenting it.

Make sure that if you have told a client you need a certain amount of their time that you do not exceed the time limit you have indicated – clients will appreciate your help in managing their time.

MEETING TIMES

If possible, try not to schedule meetings in the morning. Even though this is one of the times when people are their most productive and alert, it is also the time often reserved for reactive activities like attending to emails which have come in overnight or following up on urgent activities from the day before. Organising at this time can mean that meeting participants could be rushed or pre-occupied. Early lunch times and early to mid afternoon are good times to schedule meetings. Meetings in the early evening should also be avoided because people are thinking about finishing up for the day.

As you can see, these are little changes that can have a big impact on sales meeting productivity and outcome.

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