Preparing for a new business development meeting

You’ve finally locked a meeting with a prospect, you want to prepare but you’re not sure how? To be successful, it’s important to do your research and understand what you want to get out of the face-to-face engagement. Even if your meeting has been positioned as casual, a prospective client will always be looking for more than just an informal chat.

Take a look at these tips to make sure you have a good first meeting.

1. Do your research

Even if your prospect has asked you not to prepare anything, make sure that you do your research about the company and the person that you are about to meet. Find out how many people will be in that meeting, and their specific job titles. That information will help you decide on whether to prepare a presentation, bring your marketing collateral or just questions and answers.

2. Have a plan

Go into the meeting with a plan. Know what you are looking to get out of the meeting and consider the clients objectives too. Perhaps you would like to get your client at ease and show that you have the relevant experience to perform the task, or maybe you want a further meeting with additional decision makers. Whatever the objective, make sure that you have a plan to meet it.

3. Be on time

Arriving late to your meeting will immediately make a bad impression. Arrive at least 15 minutes early. This will give you enough time to calm down, and setup your presentation if you need to. First impressions are everything.

4. Agree on next steps

Understand what point you are at in in the sales cycle. This could be your first meeting, or you’ve been asked to present your proposal. Each step of the process requires different things. Agreeing on the next steps makes sure that everyone agrees. Be specific as possible with timings and make sure that you keep to it.

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