header 10 Tips for Professional Conversation Preparation

10 Tips for Professional Conversation Preparation

“He who fails to prepare is preparing to be forgotten.” What preparations do you make when you visit a client or prospect? We are happy to assist you with practical tips.

1. Start with desk research

For an existing client, assess sales and revenue data per product (group), per month or quarter. And compare that with last year. Consult annual reports, newsletters, press releases, and internet publications. Also, contacts in the relevant industry and customer organization often provide unpublished inside information.

2. Select on relevance

Besides information about the history and the person you are visiting, there is a lot of other relevant information. Such as statements from the CEO or information about key customers and competitors. And what is the mission, vision, and strategy? How is the market situation, the main challenges for the company and for your contact person?

3. Define a clear goal in advance

What do you want to achieve? And what are your secondary and side goals? But also, what result would your contact person want to get out of your visit? Define enough (sub)goals, so you always conclude with a positive result.

4. Confirm the visit in advance

Through an email or another personal message, mention the (common) goal. What benefit does your client/contact person have? Also make a proposal for the agenda and the required time. This makes a professional impression on your client. And it shows your importance, care, and attention.

5. Learn about the person (or people) you will meet

What real influence does the prospect have in the buying process? Are they a purchaser, decision-maker, influencer, user, or gatekeeper? What are the dominant buying motives and emotional needs? What is his/her attitude towards your company? And how do you use that knowledge to prevent delays in decisions?

6. Create an argument matrix

What are the characteristics of your company, product(s), and/or service(s)? And on the other hand, what are the possible benefits for the customer. What are the USPs? In your conversation, mention only the arguments important to the client.

7. Support the arguments with evidence

For example, with demos or (independent) studies. Bring brochures, samples, and case studies. Give your customer maximum certainty about the correctness and reliability. Provide references that the customer/prospect can approach or even visit.

8. Bring a colleague with added value

You might not be able to satisfactorily answer all of the client's questions or make all decisions. Especially when meeting several people, it is wise to bring colleagues. Such as your manager, director, or specialists (logistics, technology, finance, marketing & communication, etc.).

9. Make a telephone contact with the conversation partner(s) in advance

Here, personal, interpersonal contact is more important than the content question (such as any additions to the agenda, which topics they definitely want to hear/discuss, and which definitely not). This makes making contact during the visit much easier.

10. Test the conversation

Want more information on how the 4-dimensional selling training fits your company? Our sales trainers explain during this training how to increase the sales results of your organization.

By: Michel van Hesse

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