You made it! You finally have a meeting with an important decision-maker at a company who wants to hear about your coaching, consulting or speaking services. How do you prepare? Is it by finetuning your pitch until you perfect it? You might think so, but you’d be wrong. In the very first meeting with the corporate buyer, whether it’s in-person or virtually, you’re going to do more listening than talking.
However, you do need to be prepared to show them how your services will improve their condition. You already do this with your private clients, right? You share the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) with the client. The same holds true with corporations, if you can help them improve their condition then you’ll be the one to win the proposal over your competition.
Now what do I mean by improving their condition? From a company’s point of view, usually improving their condition will tie in with achieving their organization’s KPIs (key performance indicators). If you position yourself as a partner who can walk alongside of them and help them achieve predictable KPI results, they’ll be sold on your value. This is especially true right now since many companies are downsizing their staff and are looking for strong partnerships with outside consultants, coaches and professional development speakers.
Now, that’s easier said than done, so let me lay out my 4 Step Process to Corporate Sales Meeting Mastery that you’ll need to utilize when you get an initial meeting with a corporate decision-maker.
The first step in the process is to Adopt a Curiosity Mindset
Start by listening, but to get the answers you need to ask the prospect the right questions, in the right order about their current situation and what they’re looking to achieve. When you do that, you come to learn their challenges, struggles and what future success looks like. This is quite different than what most consultants and coaches are taught. They’re told to go into a meeting with all “the answers” and right away position their services, but that a later step in a different format.
The second step in the process is to Become a Disruptor
After tuning in and having a lay of the land of their challenges, this is where you insert your intellectual property to get them to say, “Wow! I never looked at it that way before.” For example, if someone is looking to become a better communicator, you might say, “Have you ever heard of the Communication Mastery Formula?” Chances are they will say, “No, what’s that?” Now you’ve got them tuned in to learn more about how you can help them master their communication style.
The third step in the process is to Get Them to Establish Benchmark Metrics
As the saying goes, you cannot improve what you cannot measure. Here you have to be highly skilled in your questioning as you want them to tell you how they will know they are making process. What are the benchmarks as you move along working with them on the project? Now many of you are thinking, but Sarah, not everything is measurable. I would beg to differ with you. I’d say about 95% of your work can be measurable. If your prospect can’t think creatively on how to measure it, you can offer help and say, “Would it be reasonable to say that if you become a better speaker, you’ll receive feedback from your boss that your presentation skills have improved? Or your audience members will give you higher ratings? You mentioned right now you are averaging a 3.0 average so let’s say you move to an average of 4.5 rating. Would you be happy with that increase?” Now you’ve got your measurements.
The fourth step in the process is what I call Distilling the Return on Investment
In this step, you’re asking more questions! This time it’s powerful questions to get them to tell you what achieving those organizational goals would mean to them. Now, this takes a bit of practice because you have to master asking deeper, probing questions within the question to get them to articulate tangible results. For example, if a corporate decision-maker tells you, “If I can become a better speaker, I’ve been promised a CEO promotion.” (Which by the way one of my corporate senior clients did tell me, and you know what? He did get the predictable promotion of attaining a CEO position at a top firm in the US.)
Now that you know this process, you have a better understanding of how to prepare. You need to be thinking in terms of the questions you’ll ask. Remember, you’re trying to identify the key performance indicators for this particular company. Once you hone in on the results they’re looking for, you’re in a much better position to present a winning proposal that makes it crystal clear the value of your services.
Sarah’s Predictable Results Insights
- What questions can you ask the corporate decision-maker to help you identify their desired results?
- What kind of benchmarks can be used to measure your services?
- Who can role-play and practice with you for your next big corporate meeting?
Would you like timely business acceleration tips delivered to your inbox each month? If you’re serious about taking your business to the next level, sign-up for my newsletter where I share proven strategies that have propelled hundreds of business owners from barely paying themselves into multi-six figure success.