5 Hacks HOW to Impress in a Sales Meeting!

And 10+ ways how to stay mediocre

The objective of every sales professional is to sell. In today’s economy finding people willing to buy is harder than ever. If you rely on pre-arranged appointments, you often stumble into sales meetings with your usual sales kit. But can you impress? It’s not just the message you bring across, are you memorable?
You got the appointment with a new prospect, now what? Your preparation might look like this:

  • Three Business cards, stating your name and contact details
  • Two Marketing packs, highlighting your company’s profile and its products or services
  • A Powerpoint presentation you might run on your laptop
  • Three free samples of your core product you want to sell
  • Two examples of your standard contract including your terms & conditions

I challenge you: Who gives a flying damn?

I have been in sales meetings many times, on both sides, and honestly, we all know that a setup sales meeting is something no one looks forward to especially if you are the prospect. Why? You are just about to experience and will live through a standard sales pitch, regardless if you accept to be pitched or not. It smells old, over practiced, and not original.
A mistake many sales people do is that they want to open a prospect no matter the circumstances. They try to “read” your mood; read your thoughts; read any upcoming objections. And they are no different to the other sales people who have come to see me in my office.

You may impress me with this:

1 It starts with the introduction. Don’t do the Japanese opening giving me your business card, which looks generic enough to be replaced with anybody’s else name or company. No offense to the Japanese — they are real masters — you are just a cheap plagiarist. Make it outstanding, better yet: Personalize it to the utmost. Give me something which sticks out. Make it a hologram, let it be a little book or magazine with your articles or testimonials.

2 Don’t give me your shiny marketing brochure. I could care less. Do you want to impress me? Impress me with valuable information how I can profit, even without using your product. I don’t want to save money, that is annoying. I want to get a vision. I want to get new ideas.
You may prepare to the point until it hurts. Yes. That means finding out about my situation, my products, my company, my ongoing projects, and the obstacles I am facing today. Many things you can research on the internet. Other things you can ask in research calls someone in my circle. Surprise me with knowledge, understanding, and ideas.

3 Your presentation should be everything but a Powerpoint. A Powerpoint does not become more original having my company logo integrated. Use paper and a bright red pen instead. Or if you want to stay electronically, use something you can create and draw on a screen. Certainly, I don’t have the patience to wait until you fired up your laptop and fumbled with the WLAN password, and surely don’t want to sit in front of it, while yawing.

4 Everything made up beforehand already smells standard. I am no standard; certainly, I don’t want to buy a standard product either. If you have to use a designed marketing PDF, then highlight the most relevant sections to me. Do it while presenting. Therefore I remember it better in the days to come, while you are a calling my office trying to close me. I do not like to be closed on anything — you may have guessed.

5Something else regarding product samples. Don’t give me something I can’t use. If you are selling the best plastic cups for coffee machines, bring a hundred and let me try while I am in the meeting. If you do Google AdWords, run a test campaign highlighting my company’s products and hand over the leads. Let me see myself.

Conclusion: Be original and outstanding. Do your homework before coming to the meeting, don’t qualify me while having the meeting. Make it memorable, make it fun, give me a vision. I don’t want to get sold; I don’t want to get closed on a deal; just get me to think. If you can give me a vision, I might buy from you, and then price doesn’t matter so much anymore.