What do I want my customer to learn by the end of this meeting?
Asking yourself this one question can really help make the most out of your sales meetings. By focussing on educating your customers as one of the main meeting goals, you are inherently prioritizing around delivering value to them. I've written about delivering 10X value as part of the pre-sales process, and answering this question as a seller, really helps to make this a reality. I've found this useful in all three steps of the buyer's journey and have outlined them below.
1. Prospecting - for the Sales Development Reps
As an Outbound SDR, your customer meetings are rarely ever scheduled. You're following up on an email with a telephone call, and you're hoping to catch your prospect for a short conversation. Use this question to guide your pre-call prospect research. If you want your prospect to learn about XYZ by the end of the call, it's important to make sure that they will in fact care about XYZ. Do your research in advance to ensure you're not arbitrarily picking up the phone and going in with the usual pitch. Make that prospecting call relevant.
2. Deal Progression - for the Account Executives
I've seen way too many Account Executives prepare for product demo's and pricing calls, without a clear idea of how they plan on educating their customers. While it's important to have a clear next step as a goal for the meeting, without educating your prospect, you won't earn the right to get to that next step. This is true for demos as you try to educate them on how your product will solve their specific business challenge(s), but on pricing and negotiation calls as well. In my experience, by educating prospects on my licensing model and which levers I have flexibility on, I've avoided having to resort to discounting. Deal progression through education, helps you differentiate yourself from average sales reps.
3. Onboarding - for the Customer Success Managers
For Customer Success Managers, this question can be particularly powerful at the start of a product implementation or initial onboarding phase. It helps to make sure that each meeting ends up with the customer actually learning something. I've seen a lot of content overload with early stage Customer Success processes. The customer purchases the product, they start their onboarding, and suddenly they are bombarded with all the features they need to learn how to use within the first call. Instead of learning the one thing they actually need to improve their businesses, they are shown 5 things and end up learning nothing. Prioritize around getting to just a single 'Aha!' moment, and drive adoption in chunks.
Thanks for reading. If you found this post useful or have other techniques to help you prepare for sales meetings, I'd love to hear from you. You can leave me a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
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