Just getting a meeting on a prospect’s calendar is a big step in the B2B sals process, but the meeting itself makes or breaks your deal. Preparation is everything. Use the following six best practices for meeting preparation to help you plan a successful meeting:

1. Learn Everything You Can About Your Prospect

A good sales strategy begins with a thorough understanding of your prospect’s business before the meeting. With so much information available on the Internet, it is inexcusable to present a product to a potential customer without at least a basic understanding of your prospect’s business. Your prospects will expect you to know about their products or services and their market base. If you don’t have this information prior to the meeting, you’ll waste valuable selling time trying to figure it out during the meeting. Save your time for explaining how your products will improve your prospects’ jobs. Sales Intelligence resources will give you access to all the information you need in one place, but not all of us are lucky enough to have access to sales intelligence. Other good ways to gather information on your prospects include:

  • Visiting their website
  • Visiting their social media sites
  • Reading their blogs
  • Looking for current press releases on the Internet
  • Search for news articles about the company
  • Performing an Internet search on key executives at the company

2. Learn About Your Prospect’s Competitors

By studying your prospect’s competitors, you may find a way for your products or services to help your prospects beat their competition. Research your prospect’s competitors on the Internet using the same techniques described above.

3. Make a Plan

It is difficult to have a successful meeting without a plan. A plan ensures that the meeting runs smoothly and that you and all your partners are on the same page. It also gives you a chance to drive the meeting forward and demonstrate your authority and confidence to your prospects. A good business meeting plan should include:

  • A meeting agenda
  • A list of customer participants and their roles
  • The prospect’s needs
  • The goals for the meeting

4. Have a Pre-Meeting

Hold a meeting with your co-workers before the meeting with your prospects so you can go over your business meeting plan. This will ensure that you and your coworkers are on the same page and completely understand the goals of the meeting.

5. Put Together an Outline

A written outline highlighting your products or services makes it easier for your prospects to comprehend and retain your pitch. The outline should be simple so your prospects can easily scan each point as you discuss it.

6. Meeting Reminder

Being late to a B2B sales meeting is a sure way to start out on a bad foot. It sends the message to your prospects that your company is not reliable and that you have little regard for their time. Avoid this problem by calling your co-workers the day before the meeting to remind them of the meeting time and place.