This article by Mark Lindwall over at Forrester Research highlights how 80% of meetings with sellers fail to meet executive buyer’s expectations and add value. Only 20% succeed in getting a 2nd meeting.
In particular sellers score low in 1) demonstrating an understanding of executive issues and where they can help, 2) relating to executive responsibilities in the organisation, 3) knowledge about the executives business, and 4) sharing relevant case studies.
It therefore stands to reason that you can quickly add value, and get a second meeting if you:
- Focus on executive issues not consultancy services. Demonstrate you have expertise in the challenges and opportunities executives face. Lead with your insights and ideas. Then be clear where you can help, and how.
- Research the client’s organisation structure. There may be functional, geographic, product, market, and matrix structures. Understand how they work. The main thing is to figure out where your client fits in and what their remit is.
- Know the industry sector and how the client’s business fits in. For example, if you deliver HR Consultancy and you’re selling to BAe Systems, or QinetiQ, you need to have a good understanding of how the aerospace and defence sectors work, and be knowledgable about the specific HR issues it has.
- Talk about when innovation and improvement make sense, and when they don’t. If you want to explain your process do it in the context of a case study. Explain the risks involved in changing and demonstrate what works using examples from your portfolio.
Start to deliver the kind of value today’s executive buyers are looking for from a meeting you. Show your brilliance before you start selling anything.
Are you up for that?