Sales Pros: Get More Meetings in 2023
In sales, there is nothing better than being in the right place at the right time to serve prospects and customers. If being in that right place happens more when you meet more, then how do you persuade potential buyers to invest their valuable time in a meeting with you?
It starts by stepping out of your world and into theirs.
Many buyers today are coping with economic uncertainty, budget pressures, and resource challenges. They ask questions like, “What should I do differently in my next campaign to win? How can I spend less on print projects? How am I going to get everything done?”
What buyers tend not to ask, however, is, “Do I have the right partners?” This question simmers below the surface, and it points to your strongest meeting opportunity.
What Makes the “Right Partner” Right?
For buyers, the right sales partner is the one who performs better than competitors in three areas:
- Maintaining relationships by being responsive and proactively communicating
- Understanding the buyer’s business, their concerns, and knowing how their company fits
- Making the entire sales experience more interesting, engaging, and entertaining for buyers
Responsive, Proactive Communication
Clients often send emails with questions, estimate requests, and asking for updates on projects. When they ask for something, take 30 seconds to acknowledge the communication. Let them know you received it and what you are doing in response. While this doesn’t have to happen instantly, try to respond within a couple of hours.
If you’re trying to get a meeting with a lead, don’t send one email and then let a month slide by before reaching out again because you got busy. If you are committed to building a relationship, continue to communicate every week or two.
Motivate Buyers to Meet
If a buyer has a problem to solve and reaches out to a company for a solution, then the salesperson does not have to understand the buyer’s business to start of the sales process. But, suppose a salesperson reaches out, asking a buyer for a meeting. In that case, however, the buyer will be more motivated to accept when the salesperson appears to have a basic understanding of the buyer’s business and how the solution fits.
When you do research to understand a buyer’s business, be efficient. I recommend you set a ten-minute timer and try to find something within this window. Look at the account’s website: has the company announced anything new? Look at LinkedIn. Check out the buyer and the company and see what they are posting. Or do an online search: start with a query that asks a question such as, “What’s happening in retail in 2023?” Find something that makes you look knowledgeable to the buyer and use it to personalize your meeting request.
Engage the Buyer’s Interest
If you want more meetings, you need to look like a better option than your competitors. One way to look better is by using print.
Write a letter and mail it to the buyer. Send a sample or brochure with a handwritten note. Everyone likes getting mail. In the hybrid work world, I recommend emailing the buyer to let them know mail will be coming to their office. Who knows? The buyer could respond by giving you their home address because that is where they work.
Simply put, print works for your clients. It makes their marketing more interesting, engaging, and entertaining. If you use it in your 2023 get-a-meeting battle plan, it can work for you.
Linda Bishop is the founder and president of Thought Transformation, a national sales and marketing consulting group helping printers and other companies achieve top-line growth through a combination of strategies, tools, training and tactics.
Her expertise includes all aspects of outbound selling and account acquisition, account retention and development, solution selling, marketing, and aligning sales processes with marketing strategies.
Before starting Thought Transformation in 2004, Linda sold commercial printing for seventeen years, working as a commission salesperson for the Atlanta division of RR Donnelley Company. She was one of the top performers in the Atlanta marketplace and had annual sales exceeding $9 million.
Linda has a BS degree in accounting from Purdue University and an MBA in marketing from Georgia State. She has written several books on sales topics, speaks nationally on sales, marketing and customer service, and has published many articles.