Before any 1st appointment, send the prospect the following email as your agenda:
Looking forward to our upcoming meeting. In terms of our agenda, I would like to propose the following:
- Learn about you
- Share about us
- Kick around some ideas
- Confirm that we “fit”
- Determine next steps
Then, if available, also attach a list of questions that will act as the discovery guide.
The Structure of a 1st Appointment:
|% of Time|
|work on career module||Start off by being “social” Review your agenda and get commitment Invite them to add to your agenda||5%|
Follow the acronym “SPINITH”
Situation: Use your preset discovery questions to understand their current situation.
Problem: Use your preset discovery questions to understand their current challenges. Dig deep. Keep asking “why” (in various ways). See “Digging Deep” module.
Implication: Ask them to explain the magnitude of their need to their business. What if they did nothing? So what?
Need: Ask them to define their view of their need. Have a discussion and challenge them. Are they defining a need or a symptom of a bigger problem? See “Digging Deep” module.
Ideas: Begin to kick around some ideas. You are NOT offering a firm solution yet.
Timing: Ask them their timing. If they have a firm answer – great but try to understand why. If not, be a consultant to help them determine their timing by reverse engineering their timeline.
Hurdles: Probe about the hurdles that may stand in the way. Budget? Board approval? Other priorities? Other options they have? What else? This is a critical step that cannot be missed.
|55% 15% 15%|
Re-state their needs and your ideas. Get theirc
onfirmation that you two organizations conceptually “fit”. Establish and commit to definitive next actions All will have a when (date/time), what and who
Ask lots of “open” questions … those that do not trigger a “yes” or “no”answer This meeting is about “them” … not YOU or us
Avoid pitching and don’t try to sell. A first appointment is often not pitch what you do. Stick to your meeting agenda
Show empathy – show you understand what is truly happening in their business. The best way to do this is to repeat back to them what they said
Don’t fall into the trap of talking too much (about yourself, products and company) Never leave a meeting without a next action no matter how simple it maybe;