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9 Secrets to Make Senior Management’s Meeting with a Customer Effective

It’s not surprising that many CEOs, CMOs and other senior members of a company are not comfortable making sales calls.

They may say they enjoy it, but they are merely trying to convey such a feeling because they know that’s what they should say in their position.

Below is a list of 9 things to help ensure your next sales call with a senior manager in attendance is as effective as possible:

1. Never set expectations above what you are positive senior management is comfortable with.

2. Provide senior management in advance an agenda of the meeting that includes the following:

  • Key items we need to cover, including a copy of the presentation you will be giving on the call.
  • Items of concern the customer may bring up.
  • Areas to explore if possible.
  • Bio of each person who will be attending.
  • Brief overview of the customer’s performance with your company.
  • Brief overview of the customer’s performance in the marketplace.

3. Invite the customer’s counterpart to the meeting.  If you’re bringing senior management, then use it as an opportunity to have a meeting with the customer’s senior management.

4. Be clear as to what your role is and how you intend to handle the meeting.  Remember, it’s your customer and you’re the one who deals with the customer on an on-going basis, not senior management.

5. Be clear with the senior manager who is coming on the call as to the value of any commitments that might be made and the impact they could have on the business.   Senior management many times will find themselves making commitments to a customer that put you in a delicate spot going forward.

6. Agree in advance as to the role each person attending will play in the meeting.  Worst thing you can do is to put a senior manager in a position where they feel uncomfortable, especially if they aren’t overly confident in making the customer call in the first place.

7. Ensure the senior manager knows it is your job to both open and close the call since it is your account.

8. Agree with how follow-up correspondence will be handled by you and the senior manager and be firm about you being copied on anything they send out to the customer.

9. Ask the senior manager after the call if they saw any opportunities that possibly you haven’t considered.

These secrets will continue to strengthen your relationship with the customer — and with your senior management.

Copyright 2013, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

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