09 Feb Visualising is the key to a successful sales meeting
Preparation for a sales meeting is essential, but to take it to the next level, you have to visualise it. The #1 SaaS sales leader in London shows us how.
Last month we staged our 3rd Sales Confidence live event at Level 39 in the Canary Wharf Tower. 350 SaaS enthusiasts gathered to hear 3 of the most relevant sales leaders in London tell us their secrets. Even if you couldn’t make it, we want to share the inspiration and education with you through our articles.
Peter Crosby is the Chief Sales Officer at Triptease, the direct booking SaaS platform to the world’s best hotels. He is also the #1 on our Sales Confidence Top 50 Sales Leaders list. We were thrilled to have Peter speak for us.
Peter’s talk was about coaching new starters at your SaaS company. His first point concerned visualisation when you’re preparing for an important sales meeting.
‘You have to visualise what it is that you’re going to be doing. With our sales team, we work on techniques for visualising meetings. If you’re a surgeon you do hundreds of hours of practice before they let you anywhere near someone’s wife or husband. If you’re a pilot, you do hundreds and hundreds of hours of expertise before you’re allowed to fly a decent plane. If you’re a sales guy, 80% of companies will put you on a phone within a week. It’s not the right process at all.’
The importance of visualisation
Why is visualising a sales call so important that it was the first point Peter mentioned in his talk on coaching?
Preparation is everything in sales, as in most things in life. Your chances of success at anything increase with the amount of time you spend practising and preparing. Visualisation simply takes it to the next level.
As you visualise the meeting, how you will act in it and the different variables that may arise, 3 things will happen.
- You will make sure you’re 100% on the right things to say. The right sales process. The right messaging.
- You won’t forget anything. You will have the facts and figures at your fingertips.
- Your confidence will grow. You will walk into the meeting knowing you’re perfectly prepared.
How to do it
The best way to visualise the meeting is to close your eyes, and work backwards.
Visualise a successful outcome to the meeting. This could be closing the deal, but not necessarily. Maybe it’s just an agreement for another meeting. Whatever your goal is for the meeting (make sure you have a goal!), think about what that looks like in your head.
Now, think about the steps you will have to take to get to that positive outcome. Are you going to give a presentation? If so, walk yourself through it. What questions are you going to ask your potential customer? What benefits of your product or service are you going to outline? You can roleplay this with a colleague to really hammer it home.
Finally, think about the questions your prospect might ask you, and how you might answer them. Have a planned answer to each potential question. Don’t stop there though. Think about how your answer will be received by your prospect. Will there be follow-up questions or comments? How will you deal with them? How about objections? How will you overcome them?
Get everything straight in your mind before you go in there, and you will maximise your chances of achieving your goal.
In your dreams
If you’ve followed my articles for a while, you probably know that I am big on visualising successful outcomes, not just for meetings as Peter outlined, but also at a big picture level.
I regularly take time to visualise the person I want to be in a year’s time, and the goals I want to reach. I visualise my future success, and it has a habit of coming true.
I also take it to the next level and dream about my future success. I find it inspires me to do better. I’ve written more about this in an article, which you can read here.
Pre and post-game analysis
As well as visualising meetings, and devising roleplays with your colleagues, it’s also essential that you conduct a thorough analysis of the meeting afterwards.
If it went well, analyse why. What was thing you said to make the prospect respond in a positive way? Was there a particular benefit you outlined that made them prick up their ears? Did you pinpoint how your product solves their problem?
On the other hand, how could you have done better? Was there a particular point you struggled to get across? Was there an objection that you couldn’t overcome?
We like to think that sales is about thinking on your feet, that we great salespeople have a finely-tuned instinct that can see us through anything. Of course, there is an element of truth in that, but nothing beats preparation and practice.
Over to you now. What techniques do you use to ensure you go into a meeting fully prepared? Let us know in the comments below.