Setting Meeting Objectives and Agendas
Have you ever found yourself in a meeting at the company where you work that had no set objective or agenda? You know the meetings I’m talking about. Yep, THOSE meetings. We ALL know they happen way too often. How do those meetings go? How do you feel when you leave? Are those meetings productive? Chances are, the answer is no. They rarely are. As business people, we know meetings that don’t have clear objectives or an agenda typically aren’t very productive or efficient. Frankly, they’re dreadful.
I’m tickled, though, at how many sales people ignore this simple truth when it comes to meetings they conduct, like a sales call. That’s right. I have witnessed sales call after sales call with NO stated objective or agenda. Crazy, huh? But it’s true. The funny thing is the same salespeople who loathe meetings without objectives and agendas in their own companies are the same salespeople who complain their CUSTOMERS control their calls. Imagine that. Hey, if the sales person doesn’t establish some control with an objective and agenda, what should they expect?
Let’s get back to basics, Sales 101. It makes perfectly logical business sense to begin any meeting with a prospect or customer by stating a clear objective and agenda for what you both plan to accomplish. What does this do for you? First and foremost, you seize control of the process. If you’re not sure, think about professionals you visit. When you go see the doctor, who controls that meeting? Does the doctor let you decide what questions will be asked, and what tests will be conducted? Of course not. Only the doctor knows what information is needed to make a diagnosis, right? As sales professionals, we know what information we need to propose the right solution. It’s our obligation as professionals to attempt to control this process.
The second thing we accomplish is the establishment of a track, a plan. A clearly defined objective and agenda establish a roadmap for the meeting. And it acts just as much to control the sales person as it does the prospect.
So think about the last dreadful meeting in your own company. Now think about your next sales call. Think about the objective. Craft an agenda to make certain both buyer and seller’s objectives are met. Send it to your prospect or customer in advance. Ask for their input. You’ll be amazed at how much more productive and efficient your sales calls will be and how much your customers will appreciate not being in one of THOSE meetings…
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