Few moments in business are more important than big meetings. At this stage, your marketing has done the talking, and your product has caught someone’s eye. But, you by no means have a done deal. Before you get to that point, you need to get through the dreaded M word.
Often, businesses fail because they can’t overcome the meeting hurdle. No matter how much money they put into marketing, they can’t seal the deal. As such, they spend a fortune without ever seeing a penny in return. It’s a harsh reality of the business world, and it’s one you don’t want to find yourself on the wrong end of.
The trouble is, of course, that meetings aren’t easy to manage. If you aren’t careful, you could leave potential clients dropping off to sleep. At the very least, you could see them leaving and never calling again. All it takes is a lackluster presentation or a small mistake to tip the scales against you.
Despite how crucial meetings are, though, it’s tricky to find definitive guides about how to get them right. There’s endless marketing advice out there, but meetings are something of a grey area. In some ways, it’s easy to see why. There are so few posts about how to host ‘the perfect meeting’ because there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Luckily, there are small steps you can take which are liable to work to your advantage. While they can’t guarantee success, they can at least ensure clients are more willing to listen. Keep reading to find out what they are.
The chances are that you’ve never before considered how your meeting chairs could boost your business success, but that’s your first mistake. Think about this matter from a client perspective. You arrive for a meeting you aren’t that bothered about, then find yourself on a hard plastic chair for an hour or more. By half-way through, your uncomfortable seat becomes more a pressing issue than the presentation. The moment you can get away, you take the chance to escape your discomfort. That’s an extreme scenario, but it could well be partly to blame for your struggles. By stocking up on comfortable meeting chairs, you could change your success rates in a significant way. Clients who are comfortable will be able to put their full attention on you and your presentation. They’re also more liable to hang around and hear why your product could work for them. Step #1, then, is simply to reconsider your conference room furniture.
The hospitality on offer can also dictate how long clients remain to discuss your products. If there’s no food or drink on offer, clients may even start to feel as though you don’t want them to stick around. In many ways, this is akin to not offering guests any beverages. It’s pretty rude, and it isn’t going to win you any business points. Instead, make sure to consider this ahead of time. At the very least, you should put out plates of biscuits and jugs of water. If you install something like these Davey Pumps in your water system, you needn’t even spend a fortune on bottled water for this. You’ll be able to fill jugs from your taps with ease of mind. As such, you can ensure you offer hospitality without ever putting yourself out of pocket. If you feel more comfortable to spend a little with the hopes of a return, you could even provide hot drinks. These have the added benefit of keeping clients around until they cool down. That could well buy you time to turn uninterested clients into certain sales. However you choose to display your hospitality, you should take care of this the moment your clients arrive. That way, you provide a warm welcome which makes sure everyone’s in the right state of mind when the meeting starts.
For obvious reasons, you don’t want to turn your presentation into a joke. That’s going to send a strong negative message to any client. But, it’s well worth making a few jokes within your presentation. Many business owners make the mistake of thinking that meetings need to be serious affairs. They deliver monotone presentations without once cracking a smile. But, if you’ve ever been in a boring meeting, you’ll know how easy it is to switch off during presentations like these. Make sure you don’t lose attention by adding some humour to your presentation. If your clients are laughing with you, there’s less chance that they’ll switch off to what you’re saying. Laughter in itself can even improve mood. And, if you get clients in a good mood, you’re more liable to seal a deal. Think, then, about the best ways to add some comic relief to your presentation. Whatever you do, come up with jokes which see clients laughing with rather than at you.
Along the same vein, you want to make sure that you aren’t barraging clients with information. You will, of course, want to do your initial presentation. But, it’s worth making an effort afterwards to open up a dialogue. Again, not being asked to take part can lead to lost interest. It can also lead to information overload which doesn’t actually stick. By comparison, opening up for questions or even asking questions of your clients can work wonders. The moment you engage potential clients in this way, you open the door for sales. All you need to do to make this work is ensure that you prepare for any question possible. That way, you’ll be able to keep things moving and make sure everyone remains engaged for the duration.
When you break it down like this, the ingredients of a successful meeting are far more straightforward than you might imagine. In reality, it takes basic principles to complete a sale. Stop overstretching yourself, then, and put these pointers in place. You may well find higher levels of conversion within a matter of days.
[image source - Unsplash Image]