Now You Have the Meeting – Be Sure To Set the Objective and the Agenda

by Robert Driscoll on December 9, 2009

90079650You’ve been trying to get a meeting with a client for quite some time now and now you have one.  Now what?  In my previous post (Developing Opportunities), I discussed what you need to do when trying to identify and develop opportunities before you meet with your customers.

In this post, I’ll discuss how when you secure a meeting with your customer, it’s important that you set the objective and create an agenda so that both you and your customer clearly understand what you will be covering and to ensure that you have the right audience.  Setting the objective will allow you to seize and maintain control of the process as well as help ensure you set the tone to effectively gather the desired information.

As you state your objective in your meeting with your customer, it is important to let your customer know that you are looking for ways to measurably impact their business.  You can continue this conversation by stating that you are looking for opportunities to help them increase their revenues, control their expenses, increase their productivity and/or efficiencies.  To help you uncover this, the next step is to go over the agenda for the meeting.

In your agenda, the last thing you should talk about is your company.  In creating your agenda, follow these steps:

  • It is important first to learn as much as possible about your customers’ organization.  This will help you not only understand their concerns, but help you create the best offer to meet their business needs.
  • Next, discuss the criteria they will use to determine which provider is best for their company.  Do this to ensure that you provide them with all the information they need to evaluate your offer.
  • Third, discuss the process the customer will be using to make a decision and their timeframes to ensure that you bring the desired information to your customer in a timely fashion.
  • Finally, talk about your company and the products/services you can offer them and how it can help address their concern.  During this part of the meeting, it will help you determine whether or not your company has an offer that can address your customers concern(s) and whether or not your company could possibly be a good long-term partner for your customer.

Today, more than ever, employers are asking more from their employees.  Remember this when meeting with your customers and be respectful of their time.  Stating a clear objective and having a defined agenda will help you keep your customer(s) focused, ensure that they have the right audience for your meeting and in turn, further help you identify opportunities.

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