After talking about having or getting meetings with the top level executives, I started getting question about…
“what do I do in the meeting? What is my agenda?
Good questions, particularly for the new b2b sales person and the experienced b2b sales people who leaving the comfort zone of calling on their buddies in purchasing. Since this is a key meeting, you should have an excellent plan or meeting agenda to execute a meaningful meeting.
So, here is a best practices for handling or structuring the first executive meeting. It uses a four stage agenda.
Four Stage First Executive Meeting Agenda
The key here is to be brief. Do not waste valuable time giving company details or worst mention any product or services during this opening. You can refer to the reason discussed for the scheduling of the meeting. Also, you can use a success story – related to the reason for the meeting – to show your experience in working in the industry.
- Issues and their Consequences
Here is the time for you to show your mastery of asking questions. Show your preparation and knowledge of the topic by the use of pinpoint questions designed to uncover real issues and concerns. Continue the questioning model to uncover the metrics used by the executive when relating to the issues and concerns you uncover. Then, before moving forward, gain agreement from the executive the issue is real and the consequences of no change or no action will be too costly.
- Creating an Ideal Vision
Using your confidence and ability to ask focused questions, explore what the ideal situation would look like in the eyes of the executive. Continue this dialogue to capture this vision in the terms of the executive. Explore what has been done in the past to move in this direction. Explore what the executive feels is the process to move to this ideal. Education the executive on past practices you have seen to validate the vision or to point out using questions and self discovery of facts missing from the executives thoughts about the ideal vision.
- Next Steps or the Action Commitment
Before you leave the their office, you will want to ask about future meetings and who else should be invited to the next meeting. Make sure the executive stays involved as long as possible in the process. Point out you are there to assist him and gain permission to update the executive on their project – if asked to move down a level or two for the next steps. Be prepared to follow up with a detailed process plan in your update. Keep the executive in the loop as often as possible. This keeps you in a top of mind position, rather than a vendor pushed down to the cost cutters.
There you have a quick and simple four stage process for the first meeting with a key executive or C-Level person in your potential customer account. This process gets simpler the more you use it. And, I feel it is important to personalize this process to include your unique strengths.
Again, these b2b sales tips are provided to help you develop more b2b sales success. Use this method and watch how fast you join the ranks of the b2b sales superstar.