February 21, 2014 | By

5 Tips to More Profitable Meetings in 5 Minutes


Unproductive sales meetings aren’t a good use of your time, or your prospect’s. But all you need are five minutes to learn how to make your sales meetings more productive, engaging and profitable. Below are 5 tips from our ebook, 5in5: 5 Tips to More Profitable Meetings in 5 Minutes . Take a look!

1.       Be a Closer, Not a Road Warrior.

When you have more airline and hotel points than sales, something needs to change.  The reality is that travel requirements may actually limit how many sales you can close.  Think about it – while you are sitting in an airport, riding in a cab, or picking up a rental car, you aren’t doing anything close to selling.  Add to that the administrative duties that are part of your job, and you’ll see that it is a miracle that you have any time in front of prospects at all!

Luckily, there is a smarter, faster way to get sales done.  Stow your travel bag and get busy with web conferencing and online meetings.  Efficient, convenient and a good use of everyone’s time, online meetings will get you in front of more people and generate more sales in a shorter period of time.  Tools such as instant screen sharing facilitate the meeting process, letting you get right to business.  But  watch out for complicated meeting software that require downloads and trip you up on system requirements. Focus on solutions that are intuitive and easy for everyone to use.  With online meetings, your stats will skyrocket, and you’ll get rid of that horrible jet lag once and for all.

2.        They Snooze, You Lose.

Let’s get real here.  If you are sitting in meeting after meeting, the words all start to string together, and before you know it, you are daydreaming.  It happens to all of us.  From the sales side, the problem is that when people begin to daydream during a sales presentation, you lose the dream you have of making a sale.

Holding a client’s attention is one of the best ways to ensure a sale.  If you notice meeting members starting to fumble with their phones, flip through papers that aren’t related to your meeting, or stare off into space, then it’s time to change tactics.  Pause and see if anyone has questions.  You can ask, “Hey, how about a change of direction?  I’m wondering if this (enter suggestion here) would more accurately address your needs.” Better yet, if they have already agreed to the purchase, stop!  Unless there are immediate details that need to be worked out, enjoy the win and end the meeting early.

3.       Will the Real Decision Maker Please Step Forward?

Have you ever had the experience of doing a presentation and not having any sense as to who the decision makers are?  If you have, you would be accurate in your assessment.  If you think you know who the decision makers are, you don’t!

Typically, about seven people within each organization work to make buying decisions.  Not being able to see into the future, you have no idea who might be the junior staff member today and who will be leading an entire department in two years.  The solution is a real no-brainer.  Simply address everyone who attends the meeting as though they are the primary decision maker.  Easy, right?  Allow everyone to share their input and opinions and leave the guessing game as to who has the final say to someone else.

By including everyone, you are also planting seeds for the future.  Not everyone sitting at the table will be a lifer with that particular company.  When they move on, if they remember you have treated them with respect and you have a product or service they need, they may call you – not your competitor – for support.  Talk about a smarter, faster way to sell:  you are not only explaining your services to current decision makers at one company but preparing for the future as well!

4.        Get 10 hours of your life back, each and every month!

Oh, to have the time to take a breath and actually get some work done!  With professionals averaging a brutal three meetings per day, there is literally no time to get work done, plan or follow up on anything other than the most urgent matters.  There is a smarter, faster way to decrease your meeting time.  All you need to do is to scale them back with the 10-minute principle.

It’s easy!  Simply schedule your meetings in 20 or 50 minute blocks instead of the normal half hour or full hour.  That extra 10 minutes can make all the difference.  Less time means more efficient work, sticking closer to the agenda and making decisions more quickly – all things that can benefit business, spur sales and create momentum.

The best part?  That extra 10 minutes that you normally would have scheduled for a meeting is now free!  You can take a walk to clear your head, jot notes for next steps and creative solutions, or simply kick back and get a latte.  Losing 10 minutes of meeting time will give you peace of mind and better productivity.

5.        Stop Wasting Everyone’s Time

Meetings, meetings, meetings.  It seems that more and more actual work time is spent in meetings that do nothing but cause a ton of frustration.  When those meetings are sales meetings and don’t meet the potential clients’ expectations, you can end up with a mess on your hands.  The reality?  Meetings that aren’t well planned, don’t meet the prospects’ expectations, and don’t address the “what’s in it for me” issue are simply a waste of time for everyone involved.

What can you do to create more effective client meetings?  Work carefully to set agendas that directly address what prospects want to know.  Remember that they aren’t taking time out of their day to hear you ramble.  They have questions and needs – those have to be the priority.  When you are assembling the agenda and during the meeting, remember to ask questions that force them to answer with more than just a “yes” or “no.”  Crafting this type of agenda lets clients know that they are in for more than just a stock sales presentation and that you care about the individual needs of their company and brand, which helps build anticipation and cooperation.

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