Value of Business Meetings

When I started my sales career I was told I’d better practice my golf swing, as a 4 hour afternoon golf outing was the norm ‘to do business’.  Over the years this vanished, together with the 2 hour steak dinner, the 75 minute business lunch, and as of late getting a one hour business meeting on the calendar is a challenge.  Are we experiencing the rise of the 15 minute business meeting, and if so are we ready for that?

Rise of the 15 minute business meeting

Experience gained over thousands of business meetings tell me that by using online tools – 90% of all in person meetings – can be reduced to a 15 minute (online) meeting. You will have a hard time finding a client that will argue that.

A 15 min online meeting changes everything

For decades sales professionals have been trained how to do a one hour in person business meeting.  Changing this into an online 15 minute meeting requires a new set of tools, a different set of skills, and use of engaging content. Above all it requires training!

Whoever adapts first, wins first

In other words – How You Sell has become a competitive differentiator!  The good news is that the money you save on a single flight will pay for all the tools needed, and the time saved on travel can now be applied to training.

How to make a 15 minute online meeting a success

Over the past 18 months I have worked with several sales teams and renowned external advisors such as Gerhard Gschwandtner of Selling Power 2.0 and Dan Adams of Trust Triangle Selling, and here are a few of the lessons we learned:

  • Tools:  Setup your LinkedIn profile to do the introduction process.  Instead of a phone call do an online meeting by sharing your desktop. Use tools like join.me, that do not require your client to become a member of your social network (like Skype). As for Video conference (I love vSee) make sure you are prepared with a professional backdrop, some halogen lights, and please look the part!
  • Skills:  The best meetings occur when you collaborate which requires a conversation (not a presentation). The best way to engage an audience is to present fresh ideas from different perspectives.  However time is ticking so get to the point quickly, you are competing with e-mails, tweets, and text messages using pop-ups, beeps, flashes and vibrations to draw their attention.
  • Content: Strive to use a lot more visuals vs. text.  Taking your audience on a journey of (a few) web-sites that support your case – you can even step through relevant articles you posted on your LinkedIn profile.  Tie it all together in a simple Prezi which in turn can be posted on your social media.

Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 12.13.25 PM

Train as a team, perform as an individual

Sales enablement is about learning as a team to enable us to perform better as individuals.  Join me in the conversation in the sales enablement group at http://www.salesopshop.com and accelerate your learning experience.

About

Passionate about all things social, sales, marketing and business development.

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Posted in Content, Skills, Tools
One comment on “Value of Business Meetings
  1. John Rode says:

    This is very true Jacco. I wince when a sales rep begins a presentation with their history, view of the market, etc. It’s fine to cover that if we have rapport after the 15 minutes, but right at the start you need to grab my attention or you risk losing or frustrating me. Even better, kick it off with something unexpected – like a capability or quote, and then roll into the demo or presentation.

    – John

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