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Shorter Meetings Could Increase Your Sales Effectiveness. Here's 3 Tips to Help…

A white coffee mug with "I survived another meeting that should have been an email" written in black text

Hey guess what, you schedule a meeting with a prospect for, say, about 60mins - guess how long it takes?

Yup, about 60mins!

Too often, sales meetings take too long. Here's How to Increase Your Sales Effectiveness...


I met with a client in the West Midlands recently who told me about the number of meetings his salespeople have which just take too long, too much of their precious selling time.

"Too long, too unfocused, too much blah blah blah, not enough action..."

"Surely, if we get them to focus, our salespeople can do what we need to do, say what they need to say and get their meetings over quicker?"

I agree. Mostly.

It reminded me of a lesson learned taking my services account team to Germany - we were scheduled to run a half-day Datacentre workshop with the EMEA CIO of a large European telco.

The Glamour of International Sales

Mixed race woman  looking very bored

Ah yes, Up at silly o'clock, race around the M25 to dump the car in T4 short stay parking and board the 07.25 to Dusseldorf.

The 07.25 was a fascinating flight. The kind of flight where you'd likely spot your competitors aboard the same flight to meet a different part of the same client organisation, both wondering "hmm...who are they meeting and what are they talking about?"

FOMO eh?

Anyway, we arrived at the client offices and the team took a seat in reception while I signed us in.

"Oh no!", said, Brigitte (not real name), our client's executive assistant. Gunter (not real name) has double booked himself and he is about to leave for Milan.

"Oh my goodness (not actual words) how much has this just cost us for a no-show" I wondered?

Gunter himself phoned down to me, apologised profusely for the mixup in calendars, and suggested I come up alone for 10 minutes.

How to Build Rapport (and Gratitude) in 10 Minutes...

So, the team stayed in reception being entertained with coffee and biscuits, whilst I dashed upstairs to meet Gunter.

We didn't even sit down; he handed me a glass of water, we talked about our mutual objectives, what I believe we can do to help Gunter's company, case studies where we've helped clients before, the benefits to his company and what I saw as the main blockers to moving forward.

We took 60 seconds at the end to sum up the actions and next steps - primarily Gunter emailing his direct reports requesting they meet me and my team to do some detailed analysis and report back to him within the next 6 weeks to determine next steps.

That was it.

10 minutes.

I do not believe we would have achieved any more if the workshop had lasted all day.

So, What did I Learn?

  1. Hope for the best but plan for the worst: Although I hoped to have the whole morning, I'd planned to do everything in 10 minutes just in case. I knew what the customer case study was going to be. I knew what the major issues were going to be because we'd done it before, and whilst their context was probably different; it was likely more political context and not technology context.

  2. Gunter was equally well prepared. He was on top of his agenda, his portfolio; he knew exactly what his issues were. He knew exactly what the next steps needed to be, if (big if) he thought we could get on, that we could build rapport and a level of trust.

10 minutes. That's all we had, and therefore that's all we took.

You schedule a meeting with a prospect for, say, 60mins - guess how long it takes?

Yup, 60mins!

Is it Rude to Look At My Watch?

It might feel uncomfortable to look at your watch, but if you demonstrate that you respect your client's time, you'll likely earn respect in return.

If you still feel slightly uncomfortable sneaking a look at the time, make it obvious by saying something like "I'm conscious of time..."

No one will think badly of you for managing meetings properly and keeping track of time

Couldn't We Have Done it Over Video?

I'm not sure. Much as I'm very proud of How to Sell Virtually, I don't think there's any substitute for an in-person meeting – especially if you've never actually met your prospective client before.

A recent study by McKinsey found that top performing managers spend a maximum of 5 hours per day in meetings

The rest of their time is spent reflecting, preparing for other meetings and, get this, actually doing some work!

So, if it’s ok for those top performers, might it also be ok for you?

So, if you find yourself in meetings literally all day long, ask yourself these questions:

Do I really NEED to be in this meeting?

Am I contributing or am I hiding?

WHY am I in this meeting?

Build meeting rooms with no seats - standing room only!

23 views1 comment




It all makes sense to me and I am glad that I am enjoying it if this is what business is !like !

So creative !

Keith Roselle knows me so well !

I think it is because he was !listening when I aS finding my voucr!

This the Best !

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