Commercial efficiency
4 min

What do you really need to prepare before a first customer meeting?

real question

What to prepare before a first meeting?

  • On the one hand, you have already wasted too much time preparing for appointments that never took place - because you were stood up at the last moment.
  • On the other hand, you also tried to go forthe"talent", only to get the cursed "we'll get back to you soon" after 6 minutes.

But what is the right attitude to adopt?

Background :

You made this appointment last week. Bingo! The call lasted 2min10, 30min appointment booked - prosperity masterclass. Today, the appointment time has arrived. You realise that most of the information you have is a LinkedIn profile, and a cloud of guesses.

That said, there are several positive signals. It could be a big fish, but nothing has been proven yet. Given the density of your agenda, you have to make a choice:

Do you need to allocate time to prepare for this meeting and if so, how much?

In general, those who go for talent too often can be recognized by the stats: 32 meetings/week โ‡’ 0 deals. On the other hand, if you have almost no information, you run the risk of preparing yourself ... in a vacuum!

So you end up preparing depending on your schedule.

If I have time, why not. If not, no big deal!

So, preparation? Or talent? Well, it seems that ... we are missing the point! In fact, the teams that have these discussions are having the wrong debate. I'll tell you why.

I. What is the purpose of a first customer meeting?

Think of all the times someone has come to pitch you a solution. When I listen to a sales presentation, 80% of the time I wonder what the person is getting at... Worse! If I let them talk, they could tell me all about their offer without me saying a word!

When I talk to young sales people about this, they often say something like: "Yes, but if I present the product well, the person will see that it's amazing. Something like: "Yes, but if I present the product well the person will see that it is incredible".

And, ... no. In the vast majority of cases, it doesn't work like that. Without information about your prospect, you don't know anything, and you can't get their attention. You'll be talking to a wall.

At this point, yourONLY OBJECTIVE is to identify whether or not your prospect has a problem that can be solved.

Only talk about your solution if you are sure it can bring value to your prospect. Otherwise, they won't care. This is where you need to start your preparation. To find out whether your contact can potentially become a client, you need to ...

II. Before the meeting, prepare some key questions

You go fishing for information. Your fishing rod is your open questions.

The only thing to prepare is the list of information you need to confirm if this person is a prospect or not.

Some of these structures work quite well:

โœ… "If you have accepted this meeting, it is because you have an idea in the back of your mind. What do you like about our service / product? " (+ "Why?")

We love this one. No one accepts a meeting without a reason. Get your prospect to talk directly about what matters to them.

Concrete example with Modjo:

-Before we start, I wanted to understand: why did you accept this meeting? At first glance, what do you like about our service/product?
Yes indeed, I am curious.
-Ok, what made you curious?
-I understand that you help sales people with conversational analysis, I would like to know more.
-Okay, and why would you want to know more?
-I think it can help my teams progress.

โ‡’ We haven't started the meeting yet, but we know that team development is an important issue for our contact person. We continue.

โœ… "What do you think we can help you with? (+ "Why is this important to you?")

In the same spirit as the first question, this one is more direct and allows you to pinpoint the impact your client is looking for.

๐Ÿ’Ž Tip: Keep a clear positioning in the prospect's mind: focus only on 1,2 - 3 issues maximum.

Concrete example with Modjo:

-You tell me, but you mentioned coaching?
-Yes, and before I tell you more, I need to understand what you mean by "coaching"?
Client - For me, coaching includes training on "classic" sales techniques but also techniques specific to our market and our solution

=> At this point, you understand that your contact wants their team to "perform", but it is still too early to introduce anything.

โœ… "How are you currently dealing with[the detected issue]? "

This is a step forward. If you have a "serious" prospect, they will inevitably have already been looking for a way to solve the problem they have been talking about all along. This will allow you to make a comparison: "Today you are doing this, tomorrow, with us, you will be able to do this". Before and after technique. The value jumps

Concrete example with Modjo:

-How are you managing the upskilling at the moment?
-Well, I run a session every week, but it's struggling to get in...
-Okay, what do you mean by "session"? What is your basis for teaching "techniques"?

=> You get the idea: During this first meeting, you need to refine your understanding of the issues as much as possible, so that you can best present your solution.

At Modjo, we have a small list of questions like this one that greatly facilitate information fishing - I summarize it all in the downloadable document at the end of the article ;)

III. Know how to respond to common objections during the meeting

The other thing you can prepare for, and which you should have mastered to a tee anyway, is the response to 'classic' objections.

I say classic, because you know them. Depending on your business, the same 3 or 4 objections will come up again and again. Learn to deal with each one independently, and in the best possible way.

๐Ÿ’Ž Tip: Even if you're used to brushing them off quickly, I always advise writing down and reconciling each of your prospect's objections. Each objection should be interpreted as a question, a request for information. Each time, say to yourself:

"Okay, this is important to my prospect"

It is always best to answer an objection with a question, to understand its source:

From this perspective, you can see why it is essential to dig into each objection, to understand why this aspect is important. Getting to the root of it:

Customer -Ilike your tool, but I don't think my teams will use it.
-Hum ... ok, and why do you think that?
-We tried to implement a tool like this before, it didn't work.
- Right, and have you identified the causes of this failure?
- I think my staff didn't understand the point... And it was taking too long and the results were too far away.

โŒ Objection: " I don't think my teams will use it".

โœ… Understand โ‡’ "How do I get my teams to use it?"

Sales -OkI understand the situation. So if you were sure your teams would use it, would it be a go from your side?
-If I can be sure that my teams will adapt and use the tool every day, gladly!
-Great, then I'll tell you how the adoption went with {existing customer 1}, who had exactly the same apprehension as you...

Then give a concrete example of how your existing customers have handled the situation. Finally, if the person is still hesitant, offer to put them in touch with that customer directly. Ultra-effective.

๐Ÿ’Ž Tip: For this, nothing better thana library of the best answers to objections - by Modjo ;)

I used the"no one will use your solution" objection as an example because it's a classic in SaaS sales, but this technique can be applied in many cases.

๐Ÿ’Ž Tip: If the objection is about something you don't necessarily know, we always advise to be honest:

"I'm tempted to say yes, but to be honest I'd rather check that internally before giving you the answer.

Make up for a slight loss of credibility with a healthy dose of confidence ;)

Conclusion for a successful 1st customer meeting

Take the time you need to prepare your few key questions and answers to the most common objections. Dothe work once,then duplicateย your sheet for each new first meeting.

To help you, we have summarized everything you need in a single document, which you can keep on your table ;)


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