Preparing for a B2B Sales Meeting

Published On April 5, 2018 | By Rosa Morris | Business

Sales professionals have many different approaches when it comes to meeting with clients. In B2B marketing strategies, this initial meeting can set the stage for a fruitful and rewarding business relationship. Initial meetings can also reveal insights into how a company works and what its goals are, providing the sales professionals with the tools they need to create impactful marketing campaigns.

Each B2B marketing agency is different. Here is a look at some of the many practices sales pros employ when meeting with a business client for the first time.

Researching New Clients

One of the primary tactics the overwhelming majority of B2B marketing agencies use is to conduct thorough research on prospective clients before that ever-important first meeting. Most marketing agencies are expected to have a solid understanding of what the client’s company does, what it stands for, and how dominant it is in its specific market. This research should include all aspects of a company’s online footprint, such as executive LinkedIn profiles, social media profiles, and video marketing efforts.

Doing research ahead of time helps sales professionals gather the information they need to establish a relationship. Identifying a client’s main competitors and getting a feel for the financial stability and performance of their clients can reveal areas where marketing efforts can focus, saving time in developing strategies that benefit marketing agency and client alike. A great example of how prior research pays off is when investigating a client’s website, no video content is available for site visitors. Video marketing has been shown in recent years to attract new audiences in a cost-effective manner, and the sales professionals can pitch video content as part of a marketing campaign in the initial meeting.

Of course, nothing beats that critical initial meeting with a new client. Here, effective sales teams take the time to listen to client goals and desires. In these meetings, they may identify prior marketing efforts, such as social media promotion, to gauge the effectiveness of past campaigns. With these tools, the B2B marketing firm is well on its way to develop effective, impactful campaigns for their clients.

Skipping Research Altogether

There is something to be said about going in “blind” – forgoing research before meeting with a client. Several prominent B2B marketing agencies use this unusual tactic to their advantage. In some cases, the information available on a client may not be accurate, consisting of industry rumors or misconceptions. A client’s own website and social media profiles may not paint an accurate picture, either, giving sales teams faulty information to go by when coming up with new marketing campaigns.

By entering into a meeting without any preconceived notions about the client’s business operations, its goals, or its online footprint, sales pros can keep an open mind and be ready to draw conclusions based on the meeting itself. Until that first meeting, it can be difficult to understand which pieces of the research puzzle are truly applicable to a client’s needs and goals, so skipping research may have competitive advantages. This strategy may not work for all clients and all agencies, but it is worth exploring as an option.

Meetings between B2B agencies and their new clients are filled with challenges. Tailoring a marketing strategy to the specific needs and desires of a client is paramount for success in this highly-competitive field. Taking the time to understand clients before the meeting can be beneficial, or it may not; there are no “one size fits all” solutions in the marketing industry, and the leading B2B marketing firms approach every client interaction with flexibility and innovation.

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