Meeting up with a prospect or customer is precious time. Here are some tips on how to make the most of it and put the value of your offerings first.
When you’re meeting with a prospect ask yourself this question: "If I had a half an hour with the most important person in this organization, what would that person want me to show them?”
Now contemplate your usual answer. Is it a PowerPoint with 65 slides? A 100-page technical audit report? A glossy, four-color brochure? An explanation of who you are and what you do? None of these is the correct answer. Let’s face it – none of these things gets a prospect excited, let alone makes them want to sit back and bring out the popcorn. They are not entertaining. They are not informative. Frankly, they’re often painful to endure.
What you need to do is bring value to the table, beginning with how you’ll spend your prospect’s time. Your customer is setting it aside to hear what you have to say. They might be sacrificing a long lunch, a phone call to their significant other, or catching up with their colleagues. What are you offering to put in its place? How important should your message be? And how easy should it be to listen to?
Sometimes I’ve told a prospect this up front: "Listen, you've been kind enough to reserve a half an hour with me today, so as I was planning for this meeting last night I thought to myself what was the highest value I could produce for you with only 30 minutes to work with.”
When you start a meeting like that, people will know you aren’t going to take the usual routes. There won’t be a bunch of brochures or a clunky slideshow… just straight talk. After that you have to deliver the goods and keep your word. Being very mindful of how you’re presenting your message will definitely serve you well. And be sure to reserve a meaningful fraction of your allotted 30 minutes for your prospect – they’ll tell you what you need to do to win their business if you ask them the right questions and listen carefully to their answers.