Creating a specific meeting tool for your business, that is both comprehensive and adaptable, can significantly increase the success of sales meetings in your business. Particularly useful where your salespeople lack experience, a meeting tool steers a meeting in a pre-determined direction and enables pre and post-meeting admin to be executed efficiently and consistently.
At align.me, we create meeting tools on a folded A3 page, consisting of the following components:
- Front page; Pre-meeting preparation
- Centre spread; Meeting conversation guide
- Back page; Summary
Once created, this tool should be tested and evolved based on feedback from your salespeople; they won’t use it if they don’t like it so this may mean including them in its design as input equals ownership. Outlined below is what each of the meeting tool components should encompass and how they should be used.
The front or first page of the meeting tool should be filled out by your salesperson before the meeting.
This front page will highlight everything that you know about your potential buyer so spend considerable time before the meeting researching the business that you are meeting with.
Before the meeting, ensure you also research the possible problems of the potential buyer or business that you are meeting with. Identify in particular the language that best articulates the buyer’s problem. This will prepare you for the conversation you will have, guided by the centre page of the meeting tool.
The centre spread in the meeting tool should be used by your salesperson to guide the conversation of the meeting and progress the prospect along the Buyer's Journey.
The centre spread is based on Funnel Logic and SPIN (Situation. Problem. Implication. Need) and is specifically focused around the buyer's problems.
Working through the centre spread should highlight;
- A problem that the prospect is facing (focusing on the implications and consequences that this problem entails)
- Then, what the prospect needs to solve the problem(s)
<Insert image of example centre spread>
It is important that each of these steps is accurately recorded, and it is equally important that the focus throughout the process is on the prospect (not on your company or solution).
The back page of the meeting tool is essentially a summary of the results of the meeting. It should be filled out by your salesperson immediately following the meeting.
This summary should include everything from company aspirations, problems, and agreed needs, to proposed solutions, client outcomes and details of other decision makers or strategies that need to be involved.
Once this back page summary has been filled out, it can essentially act as the basic template for your follow-up email. This will ensure the continued connection with the potential buyer and remind them of the possibilities discussed in the meeting, encouraging a progression to the next stage in the Buyer's Journey.
The information gathered should also be captured in your CRM.
If your salespeople aren’t using the meeting tool and need motivation to do so, pin up all meeting tool sheets in the office. Nothing encourages activity like the public visibility of your work, and/or laziness.