How To Avoid Client Meetings That Waste Your Time!
Most client meetings are not worth your time. People say if you don’t close, it’s often because you didn’t try hard enough. However, in reality, the reason for most failures in closing is not a lack of effort but because you are meeting the wrong people! Here is how you change that.
1) Have you made sure they are decision maker?
Are they qualified to say yes to you? Quite often, during meetings you will deal with people who are qualified to say no, but don’t have the power to say yes. While it is important to treat non decision makers with respect, ultimately if all your meetings are with people who always have to check with higher ups for everything, you will have a much harder time making your point and showcasing your value. This is because, these people you meet aren’t concerned about the value you offer, they only care about their job and probably a low price.
So, as far as possible, deal with the person who has the strategy in mind. This could be A C-Level Executive or the owner. If that is not possible, at the very least, keep them in loop of the conversation on email so that there is minimal distortion of information.
2) Have you evaluated their Budget?
Have you established, whether the client has the financial capability and willingness to spend for the product/service you have to offer? If they don’t have the capability, there is absolutely no point of spending an extra-ordinary amount of time trying to sell to them. Perhaps, in the future, they might have the capability and it is good to stay in touch, but spend way too much time on them.
The second is willingness. You can test this by studying who they hired in the past or products they bought. If you know the prices of who they hired in the past, you can quickly establish how much they generally tend to pay. You can share a budget range early on in the sales process to check whether they can possibly afford you.
3) Have you ascertained the Agenda:
Always ask before the meeting what the agenda is, what they are looking to accomplish before the meeting and the next step they will take, provided the meeting is successful. While you are at it, also get clear on the what time frame they are looking at. If they are looking to buy something next year only, don’t leave all your important work aside to rush to a meeting like this!
Knowing the agenda helps you get the right material prepared and research done in advance so that the meeting is fruitful.
Finally, it helps you understand in advance whether the person has any intention of buying at all. You will be surprised to know how many meetings are set up just to ‘pass time’ and give the illusion of being busy. This is often true when the meeting is set up with someone lower down the organization whose only intention is to make it look like to the superiors that they are working very hard. Often these same people will pay little attention to you during the meeting and give most of their attention to their phones!
Most client meetings are not worth your time. It is one thing to go to a qualified meeting and not make it because of your own fault. But many times the fault does not lie in your abilities but in the fact that you are spending your time meeting the wrong people or meeting right people at the wrong time. Qualify them hard upfront, save A LOT of pain ! Only spend your time where it matters the most! Your time is your greatest asset!