When you are in a sales meeting, how do you start it – for example, do you have an agenda?

(I don’t mean ‘agenda’ as in a deep dark objective – that would be wrong!)

Instead, I mean a simple structure for what will follow.

As the salesperson, even if the meeting is relatively informal, there is nothing wrong with presenting a structure (after all, how many of you have sat through boring, long meetings where you don’t know why you are there and how long you are expected to stay?).

It’s up to you how you do this – it could be typed up formally, documented in an email or just spoken – the bigger and more corporate the potential client, the more formal the agenda will probably be.

So this is the outline structure I recommend to salespeople. It’s dead simple (which is why it works)

1. Hello [name] thank you for meeting with me today
2. I propose we start with me asking some questions about you and your business and (if you already know their issues you can add that too)
3. Then I’ll tell you a bit about us (me) and what we (I) do
4. After that, we will know if we are a good fit for one another and
5. We can agree the next steps
6. Is that OK?

What does this do?

✔ It’s clear and logical

✔ It sets the expectation of what will happen

✔ They get to talk about themselves first (which is more interesting to them and helps you more as a salesperson)

✔ You have also set the expectation that this is a sales call by mentioning whether you are a good fit for one another and then ‘next steps’

✔ You get their buy-in by asking if it’s OK

When I do this in class, salespeople find it such a relief that they can simply, professionally and elegantly take control of a meeting in a way that serves both parties.

Also the beauty of this is that you can tailor it – so if for example you have been brought in to discuss specific issues, or you know a lot about the customer already, you can include that information in either step one or two.

I love it when sales is simple!!!

Do you use agendas or is it something you should be doing more?

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