Preparing to Meet the People

We’ve touched on presentations and the importance of making a good impression. It’s worth looking at this in detail. Without getting this bit right, all that marketing and all those sales calls will be in vain!

A good presentation is based on thorough research.  Start preparing early, probably a fortnight in advance, because there’s a lot to find out.  Remember: 10 hours of preparation for one hour presentation is a good rule of thumb – if you’re going to a more informal sales appointment, you still ideally need at least an hour of preparation.

First of all, find out about the people.  Who are you going to be meeting?  What are their roles and responsibilities?  Use the Web and LinkedIn to find out as much as you can about them.

What kind of firm is it?  What are their values?  Get the company brochure, and see what they say about themselves.  Call up some of their employees and chat to them about what kind of firm it is.  Talk to other colleagues who may know the firm.

Check what other projects they have done.  Use ABI and similar data.  What is their agenda likely to be for this project?  What do think will be essential?  What do you think they will regard as desirable but not essential. Prioritise accordingly.

Try to get into their way of thinking.  Marketing, as I have said before, is about understanding the needs of your client, and meeting them.

Sales Appointments and Sales Presentations

This section deals with substantial sales presentations where you and usually one or more of your colleagues will be meeting a potential client.  That may be one person or more. The more informal sales appointments we usually set are really mini versions of a full sales presentation.  Much of the same advice applies, so read the key points and apply them to your own upcoming meetings.

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