Good pre-sales meetings, and less good ones

Today, some colleagues and I have met with several potential vendors for professional services and software we will need over the next several years. Based on the same brief, we were given one solid presentation, one excellent presentation, and also a dreadful one that inspired a disparaging Star Wars comparison (in a private email to my colleagues).

So what goes into a good pre-sales meeting? Here are a few suggestions, if you’re on the agency / supplier / vendor side:

  • start with a big question: the audience engages, as it creates a sense of co-ownership of the meeting
  • listen to the client: weave their points into your own narrative, make them feel smart and understood
  • bring knowledge to the table: ensure participants learn stuff they didn’t know, or get to think along new lines
  • keep your team tight: don’t bring an army, only people who can contribute to the conversation
  • know your stuff, in particular know your own products and services (no, it’s not that obvious!)
  • … and this ought to be obvious as well: joke with your client, not with your colleagues

What makes your meetings tick?

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