Recruitment: How to Win More Face-to-face Sales Meetings

The majority of new recruitment business is won based on face-to-face meetings. The stakes are high in these meetings; with many clients making a win/lose decision on you there and then. This means that, when you do get the opportunity to meet, you want to make sure you nail it.

A good face to face meetingOther professionals who work in a high stakes environment (surgeons, top athletes, fighter pilots…) all go through checklists before they get to work. Someone’s life may not be on the line in a sales meeting, but if you want to beat the competition then you need to prepare like your life depends on it. So we’ve put together a snappy checklist to help you smash it.

Getting There

You first goal for any sales meeting should be to arrive on time, and in the right place.

   1. What is the address?
   2. How will you get there?
   3. What’s your back-up plan to get there?

Always have a back-up plan. Yes, you can Google a new route, but if you find yourself in an area with no signal what are you going to do?

   4. Do you have multiple ways to contact the person you’re meeting? Mobile, desk phone, email? 
   5. Do you have all the information you need in several places? If your laptop fails, have you got paper copies to give out?

The Meeting

Coffee at a meeting

The meeting is what you’re most likely to feel prepared for, but there are always some crucial questions that slip through the crack.

   1. How long do you have?
   2. Who else is going to be in the meeting?
   3. How senior is the person you’re meeting?
   4. Do you have/need a screen or WiFi?
   5. Do you need somewhere private to meet?

Once you have all this information sorted, you can start to really focus on the questions and research that will help you to close the deal.

What Is Your Objective?

Make sure you have concrete objectives that can act as an anchor for your pitch. For example:

  • Objective A: Close the deal
  • Objective B: Get commitment for a bigger pitch
  • Objective C: Win a new job from the client there and then

Also, write down a ‘fall-back’ objective that you would be happy to achieve if your primary goal isn’t met. This will help you to look professional, and still emerge with a win if a meeting doesn’t go to plan.

Research_adamr_-_freedigitalphotos.netDo Your Homework

The last thing you want to do is go into a meeting and start asking questions that are answered on the company’s website. Aim to quickly get into a discussion where you are providing value. Pull together case studies, real-life examples, and information from your database to show that you know what you’re talking about.

Some key points for you to study up on are:

  • The core business/employee numbers/whether they have a local, regional, or global focus.
  • Recent company news
  • The background of the person you’re meeting, including previous roles and suppliers.
  • The person you're meeting's personality type? Do you have any mutual connections?
  • The company’s biggest business challenges and competitors for both business and talent
  • Current suppliers/whether they’re working with your competitors
  • Facts or insights which you believe will be relevant to the person and their company.

It’s also worth connecting with them in advance on LinkedIn, and follow them on Twitter as well. This shows them you are proactive, exposes them to your personal brand, and gives them a chance to review your credentials before the meeting.

Finding Your Next HireWhat Are You Going To Say?

Rehearse your pitch ahead of time so it feels comfortable and natural when you meet the client. Do NOT just read off of your PowerPoint presentation. If you’re not confident that you can remember the whole pitch, put together some hand notes to refer to. Make sure you've tailored your pitch to fit the company, and make a list of the key points to emphasise to them.

Make sure you have some questions and insights you can use to open up the discussion, as well as the key messages or differentiators you want to get across in the meeting.

Finally, how are you going to close the meeting? Have some next steps ready to propose when you’re wrapping up.

Good luck!

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Alan Hiddleston

Alan is an advisor here at Firefish with experience in both sales and marketing.

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