Round The Room

I fondly recall mentoring a cubrep in the late-90s.  I’m delighted to report his progress has been suitably stellar, currently residing in New York selling BI solutions on three continents.

I went along with him to a widget box-shifter in the Midlands once ostensibly to say nothing.  My aim was to give him the confidence (not that he was ever lacking in that department) that he was along the right lines and feedback on his next areas of development.

As ever in such situations, it’s always way, way better for the person (in this case me) that is introduced as someone of demonstrably high seniority to keep schtuum for the duration.  The only exception being when invited to contribute (usually to handle a sticky one) by the rep.  This should help in the general aim, which is to elevate the rep’s position with the prospect.

After setting the agenda in fittingly enthusiastic tones, the cubrep duly turned to me and asked if there was anything I’d like to add.  He’d only missed one thing.

With a room full of five prospect people, I simply asked that each in turn detail what is was they were hoping to get out of the meeting.  It uncovered some real gems.  Years later, the rep still remembered how helpful this tip was.

So it was with great satisfaction that I discovered this same technique used at a meeting that I myself attended yesterday.  The ‘Chair’ was a consultant specialising in specific types of web-community building and in effect, I was one of a dozen ‘buyers’ around a large table.

The very first thing the said Kiwi in charge did was to ask us to share with the room our personal musings on three simple questions:

Who are you?
What do you do?
What are you here for?

The responses were fascinating (from the very off throwing up both previously unimagined opportunities and roadblocks) and set up a truly cracking session.  This approach is an essential element of any sales meeting where you have more than one person around the table, especially given attendees you’re in front of for the first time.

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