Preparation is not new, and I am sure you have heard it before.
In an initial customer meeting, you have a very limited window of time to demonstrate value. I suggest you want foremost to demonstrate to the buyer that you are a “different” breed of sales person and unlike the last twenty they interacted with. To that end, if you come in armed with knowledge about the customer’s business – or at a minimum, great questions to gain knowledge about the customer’s business – you have a better chance to get make a positive impression.
Of course your approach will be based on what you sell. If your product is designed to help a customer with their supply chain, come to the meeting with prepared questions focused on their Supply Chain.
The information you need to prepare for the meeting can be gleaned from general sources or people you have talked to inside the company. Preparing puts you in a category of seller; very different from the rest – focused on defining value for the Customer, not pitching product.
Preparation is key, no matter what Product or Service you Sell.
Are you willing to Invest time and Pay the Price?