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Want Productive Sales Meetings? Set Expectations

May 12, 2022
Want Productive Sales Meetings? Set Expectations

As a sales leader, you’ve had your fair share of sales meetings. You’ve survived the good, the bad, and the ugly. But what if I told you there was a way to avoid the bad and the ugly entirely? All you have to do is set expectations.

Think of how much easier sales meetings would be if all parties involved knew exactly what everyone was expecting to gain from them. There would be no more guesswork of what to talk about. No confusion of the prospect’s problems or what they may or may not be interested in.

But how do you set expectations for sales meetings? And why will it make your sales meetings more productive?

Why Sales Meetings are More Productive if You Set Expectations:

Going through the motions of a sales meeting without setting expectations is like sitting through a semester-long class never knowing what the class was about or what you were supposed to be learning from it. It’s like showing up for a job interview without knowing what the position is.

If you don’t set expectations at the beginning of the meeting, you’re going to end up wasting valuable time in front of the prospect. Instead of trying to solve their problems, you will be focused on figuring out what their problems may be. Then, if you do end up figuring one out, you’ll have to adjust your meeting to cover that specific problem you just uncovered.

Basically, if you don’t set expectations, you’re going to be doing a lot of juggling! Let’s save that for the circus – not the meeting table.

Imagine this: the first 20 minutes or so (alter this time depending on the length of your meeting) is dedicated to figuring out exactly what you are expected of and what you expect of the buyer. Then, you’re free to sell your heart out!

How to Set Expectations in A Sales Meeting:  

A best practice is to set expectations in the beginning of the meeting. Let’s say you want to schedule a follow-up meeting (should things go well) before you leave. And maybe for the prospect, they want you to cover a specific topic in this meeting.

Another way to set expectations is to ask for feedback. This is when you ask the prospect to tell you if you are aren’t speaking to their problems or need. Not only does this keep them listening to what you’re saying, it saves you both time.

If you want to learn more about how to amplify performance in meeting, check out our resource on giving a killer sales presentation:

The CFS Guide on How to Create & Give a Killer Sales Presentation
A Guide for Salespeople & Sales Managers on Creating Sales Presentations that Close Deals and Add Value to Prospects' Lives
Download Now

Otherwise, just remember that being up front about expectations creates clarity and establishes healthy relationships with clients. At your next meeting, go in knowing that the first thing on your agenda is to set expectations. Feel free to explain to the prospect why you believe it is important to running a productive meeting and ensuring a dynamic relationship.

Want to learn more on things like setting expectations? Check out our latest eBook on Accountability in Sales.

Accountability in Sales
A Guide for CEOs, Sales VPs, and Sales Managers on How to Guide Performance
Download Now

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