Now we’ve all heard the term “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to meetings, regardless of your industry or your job title. Especially when you're speaking to prospect clients.
So you’ve secured an over the phone meeting with a new business, but what do you do before the dial tone starts? Do you sit and tremble in fear of the unknown or do you prepare yourself? Maybe it’s a bit of both.
So let’s look at how you can effectively and efficiently lay the groundwork before jumping on that call. Now some people might think that not preparing first, allows them to be unscripted and authentic, but I believe not doing so is just lazy and a little disrespectful to the person you are trying to pitch your products or service to. But on the other end of the spectrum, this process can be something that a lot of people overthink and spend way too much time getting ready for, even though that conversation may or may not end in a sale.
Firstly, let’s look at how much time we should spend. Narrow this task down to around 15 minutes, and I would always suggest working on this just before the call starts so everything is fresh in your mind. Now plan the structure of this conversation, start off with what we call ‘The Discovery Stage’ this a time where we allow the client to lead the conversation, so note down a few questions to ask, for example;
“What is the state of the business at the moment?”
“What are some of your business goals for the next year?”
“What are your pain points?”
“What do you already do in terms of marketing”
“Do you have a large customer base already”
After this, you want to do some broader research into the business itself. Start by simply searching the company on Google. Here's some of the areas I suggest looking at:
Reviews - check on Trustpilot, Facebook reviews or Google reviews
News tab on google - this gives you an idea if they are actively advertising already
Website - look at User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI)
Socials - how many followers do they have, what’s their content like
Once you’ve looked over these, start noting down what we call ‘Leverage Points’ these are points that will help you sell your service/product to your prospect. For example, if you’re selling Social Media Management, note down specific posts that you could improve for them and how.
Like I said at the beginning, although this might look like a lot of information, it really shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes to complete, so if it is, you’re probably going into too much detail on each of the points, try to keep the information short but valuable. Because although you should always be confident in closing, it isn't always going to work out.
For a real-time, step by step demonstration of exactly how I would prepare myself before a discovery call check out my video below.
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