Monday, 19 June
Today's Topic
Meeting Preparation

Skill

Buyers may not openly fawn all over you when you use an agenda to start a meeting, but they’ll secretly respect that you are thinking about their time. Use meeting agendas….always.

Last Monday, you began thinking more critically about the art – and science – of preparation. If you spent a few more moments than average preparing for your pitch meetings last week, good for you! (Mark that down in your WINS JOURNAL.) The TOP 10% sellers don’t rush through the prep process; they spend time doing the spade work. As a formula, ideal meeting preparation is the function of thought plus time. Ok, pop quiz: when is the best moment to begin creating your meeting agenda for a client pitch meeting? Answer: immediately after you secure the appointment. Pitch meetings are sacred, so maximize your time to think about everything that will ensure success.

So you’re buying into the concept that ample time is needed to let your meeting agenda work and do its magic! Nice. But do ya wanna know the number one mistake sellers make regarding agenda creation and meeting management? Ready? They don’t use the agenda to open and start the meeting. Yup…not kidding. They put in tons of time and do all the right work, and the agenda stays in their bag. OOOPS.

The good news is this is easily solvable. All you need is one or two meetings that run south – or aren’t as productive as you need them to be – and you’ll slap yourself on the head, remembering you created an agenda that could have solved the problem. (What good is it stuck in the darkness of your bag?) It merely takes the creation of a habit to get used to using a meeting agenda. If you start with doing the preparation work, the execution work will follow naturally.

The bigger issue is some sellers report they feel weird presenting a prepared and printed agenda in a meeting. (Yes, a piece of paper. Ok, fine, a slide for video meetings.) Be assured your prospects and customers will love that you took the time to create something formal and official. And in this digital world, having a piece of paper to touch differentiates and distinguishes you. The highest form of respect you can pay customers for their time is showing them how you are prepared. A printed agenda does that and more!

Do

All buyers have objections to your offering, but they must be encouraged to share them. It is not the nature of most buyers to volunteer what’s wrong with your product or service.

Today’s DO is about converting the pre-agenda worksheet you built last Monday into a meeting agenda. As a reminder, your worksheet should list eight categories: "Client Name," "Attendees," "Meeting goal," "MY Meeting goal," "Issues," "Questions," "Stories," and finally, "Next Steps." While many categories are simple to complete, your focus should be on nailing your "Meeting goal." Completing that section starts with answering this guiding light question: what does this prospect/customer care about most? Once you nail that, everything else will fall in line. Note that "MY meeting goal," "Questions," and "Stories" won’t appear on the actual agenda; those support your TOP 10% prep!

So you understand why "Meeting goal" and "MY meeting goal" are differentiated parts of your pre-meeting prep work. Ok, solid. What about the other so-called tricky categories, like "Issues" and "Stories"…what are those about, you’re asking.

Today’s DO encourages you to create questions that you will use in meetings to proactively surface objections. Rather than write "OBJECTIONS" in big bold letters on the agenda, the word "Issues" is an appropriate prompt that allows you to address the elephant in the room or to go pull the elephant into the room!

All buyers have objections regarding your offering, but they need to be encouraged to share them. It is not the nature of most buyers to volunteer what’s wrong with your product or service. How often do you hear a buyer say, "My main objection with your offering is… X?" You don’t. So you have to go get the objections. You have to surface them proactively.

If you’re creating an agenda for an introductory or early-stage meeting and you don’t think objections have formed yet inside the mind of the buyer, that’s okay, just put a "?" in the space next to "Issues" and follow this script, "Listen, you probably don’t have any objections to us doing business now, but this question mark on the agenda exists to prompt us to have a transparent discussion about your needs and what value we offer." The buyer will appreciate that approach and most likely reward you with honest feedback.

Tomorrow - June 25

Did your competitor have a good Q2?

Today - June 24

"I thought that buyer LOVED me."

Read More

June 22 - 23

Mindfulness/Self-care

Read More

June 21

On this day, Jaws appeared in theaters

Read More

"It takes a lot of unspectacular preparation to have spectacular results in both business and football." Roger Staubach

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