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What Does it Take to Get a Meeting?

branding marketing sales Oct 02, 2018

Last Friday at the Information Governance Conference 2018, I conducted a Vendor Workshop titled “Stop Wasting Money on Marketing”.

One of the questions that came up and that I hear often was “Since you were an IT Executive Buyer, what would get you to take a meeting? Would it be an email or a webinar?” 

Well, here’s the answer I gave.

Unless I knew the person sending the email or if the subject happened to match the big problem I was trying to solve, then that “cold” email was instantly deleted. As for webinars, if your potential buyer is relatively senior at all, they rarely will invest the time for a webinar. Sometimes they will, but it is rare.

So, what can you do?

My recommendation is to contact the influencers on your buyers’ team who he/she listens to. While I was leading the strategy and the teams to manage the information and data for BP from the Gulf Oil Spill I would only meet with potential suppliers and solutions providers that key members of my team recommended. Also, they had to have thoroughly vetted, met with, and were willing to stand behind. Then you might get a meeting.

Before you head out and try to meet with your potential buyers’ key influencers I have a few pieces of advice: 

  1. Clarify Your Marketing: Make sure you have clarified your marketing so you are addressing your customer’s problem and you have painted a picture of their success after buying your product or service. This is critical since the influencer you meet with will be “carrying” your message back to the Executive Buyer. If you confuse the influencer they will confuse your buyer resulting in no meeting.
  2. Position as the Guide: Make sure you have positioned your brand as the Guide who has empathy for their challenges and you can talk about how you helped other customers with the same problem.
  3. Most Importantly: Make sure before you talk to the influencer about numbers 1 and 2 above, you ask in-depth questions to fully understand the big problem they need help with and what they have done so far to try and solve it.

Bonus: Make sure you do number 3 first and act with complete integrity.

After listening to their big problem, if your company is not the right solution, then don’t waste time on items 1 and 2 and tell them honestly you are not the right fit for their problem. Thank them for their time and end the meeting.

I guarantee if you do this, then when they do have the problem that your brand solves, you will be one of the first they will call.