Wednesday, 29 February 2012

101's FOR DISCOVERY MEETINGS



With a modern consultative selling approach, the ability to conduct a successful discovery meeting is imperative. The discovery meeting is where you get the initial information from which you will build your proposals and show how you can add value to your prospects business. Over the next 3 post I will be sharing some tips on how to run a successful discovery meeting, from preparing for the meeting to the types of question you need to ask, and even how to listen to the answers. 


So here a few 101's for setting up and framing the initial meeting 


Make sure you are dressed appropriately, greet the client with a smile, be professional, and be confident.  
·      Plan your meeting – YES that’s right, plan your meeting. Before you walk into a meeting, you need to have done some research on the client. You should have a clear goal as to what you want, at a minimum, to get from the meeting and you should also have a good idea on how you can add value to their business.
·     Introduce yourself, what your job is (if your title does not clearly represent what you do – explain it briefly), who you work for, and what your company does (ensure this is within the context of your UPB* and VBR);
·       From the outset, take control of the meeting by setting the agenda –
    • Explain the purpose of your visit, again orientate around your VBR,
    • Establish how much time your prospect has and agree a time to finish
    • Ask if it's okay to take notes (some business information may be sensitive,)
·    Try to focus on their business from the outset by asking if it's okay to start by asking a few questions or if they would prefer a quick overview of your own company first. If the later is the case, plan to give a quick, concise and honest overview that establishes credibility, and allows you to return the focus to their business as soon as possible.
E.g. "I'd like to learn about your business and what your key challenges and goals are, and then if appropriate, to explain how we might be able to approach these issues. Then if we feel there are some opportunities for us both, we can agree on the next steps"
·   Use questioning to establish rapport, learn about their business, including key challenges, issues, concerns, and their objectives, or goals moving forward. 
In my next blog I'll give you some tips on what questions you should ask and  how to ask them. 

* UPB acronym and concept was originated by The Marketing Guild
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