Monday, 26 June
Today's Topic
Meeting Preparation

Skill

Creating a meeting agenda is half the battle, editing it as the meeting nears is another half of the battle. Using the agenda in the meeting is another half of the battle! (Yes…three halves.)

Sooooo…didya prepare and use a formal agenda to manage a meeting with a customer last week? (Hope so.)

Research from Core 6 Management Advisors, a sales development advisory practice, posits, "…90% of B2B sellers who begin creating formal agendas do not use them in meetings until a few weeks of getting in the habit".

Yes, it takes time to develop and groove habits. Some sellers report presenting an agenda "feels awkward" and "too formal." Some do the prep and merely forget to use them in meetings. Using a meeting agenda is the highest respect you can pay your customers; they will most definitely appreciate your attention to running a tight meeting and being organized.

The benefits of using agendas to manage all your customer meetings are overwhelming. Here is the argument laid out nice and tidy for you:

1. Agendas guide the research and prep work you must accomplish to ensure you meet your meeting goals.
2. Using agendas binds you with your prospects and clients and helps turn meetings into collaborations, not pitches. (Buyers don’t buy because they get pitched.)
3. Agendas help you manage appointments and keep them on track….especially when derailers are doing their thing! For example, after a derailer finishes spewing nonsense, literally point to the agenda lying on the table and say, "Hey, that’s incredibly interesting…shall we spend more time on it now, or should we get back to our agenda?"
4. Using a prepared agenda positions you as an organized professional who respects your customer’s time! Professionals – certainly those in the TOP 10% – are the sellers who distinguish themselves and quickly gain trust from buyers.

Don’t feel bad if you didn’t use an agenda at one of your customer meetings after going through the trouble of creating it. Habits are powerful, and this one about using agendas requires creation and activation! So keep putting yourself out there. If you keep doing the work, you’ll get there.

Do

Don’t be afraid to kill one-one trillionth of a short tree by printing your agendas for your client meetings. For in-person meetings, presenting a printed copy of the agenda makes a strong statement.

To encourage you to use agendas in your customer pitch meetings, say this line aloud, "So, Mr. Customer, I created an agenda for our meeting to ensure our thirty minutes are productive. Lemme review it now with you so we can make sure it maps exactly to what we need to accomplish…good with you?"

Repeat that phrase as often as necessary to burn it into your brain. If you’re comfortable with the language, you’ll execute it in a meeting. While you’re buying into the concept of using an agenda in all your meetings, you may admit it is the execution that needs work. That’s okay. This is new to you, so you must break the activity into steps to activate it.

In most competitive industry segments, buyers won’t commit meeting time to sellers without first seeing an agenda. Buyer time is just too tight and valuable. But, the agenda version forwarded through email or baked into the calendar invite is different from what gets printed on the paper agenda used in the meeting.

First, get over that you’re killing 1/100,000,000 of a tree by printing out your agenda. This TOP 10% move is worth it. In this digital world, presenting a piece of paper – something tangible for the buyer to pick up and hold – makes a statement. Printing out a piece of paper says you took the energy and time to ensure the meeting goes to plan and meets the customer’s needs. What about a four-color logo representation of the customer’s company logo? YES! How about a thoughtful layout of sections plus white space to create easy reading and professionalism? YES.

Making a statement means doing it right. Does this mean you have to engrave the agenda on titanium? (…c’mon…stop being silly.)

Including an agenda summary in a calendar invite calls for a simple presentation of the topics on the table. Presenting a printed version of the agenda allows you to edit until the final hour and present something thoughtful and appealing.

Tomorrow - June 20

"Buyer, I object to your stupid objection."

Today - June 19

Didn't we JUST have a weekly sales meeting last week???

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June 18

Q2 account reviews that make your mgr smile.

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June 17

Whadya mean, you're not killing it right now?

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"Practice doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect." -Vince Lombardi

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