Sales meetings are a critical part of the consultative sales process. Here are my top 5 confidence boosters that helped me go from hating sales meetings to loving them:

A big drainer of confidence is having a meeting with someone who you do not think is interested in your services. When generating sales leads, change your conversation from your products and services to the problems you can fix with your products and services.

When people express an interest, ask them why and get them to tell you that they have a problem and want to do something about it. Then confirm they know they will be having a sales conversation by saying something like:

“Just to check – if we decide to work together… clients normally spend between X and Y – will that be an issue?”

When you have the sales meeting you will feel more confident knowing that they are a motivated buyer.

In consultative selling, the sales meeting is called a ‘discovery’ meeting for good reason. You are not there to sell. You are there to discover the information required to construct a compelling sales proposal. Preparation is essential and with the internet there is no excuse. The sales meeting will be a total waste of time unless you take the time to do some research and decide on what kind of information you need and what questions you will ask.

Another type of preparation that will boost your confidence is to mentally rehearse the meeting going well. See in your mind’s eye the meeting finishing the way you want it to rather than the meeting being a complete disaster!

Imagine you are in a cinema and watching a silent movie of your successful sales meeting:

See yourself meeting the prospect, looking confident, making good eye contact and having a firm hand shake.
See yourself making small talk and both you are the prospect smiling and relaxed
See yourself taking the lead in the sales meeting and asking questions confidently.
See the prospect doing most of the talking and you listening carefully and maintain eye contact and taking the occasional note.
See the prospect walk you back to reception and shake your hand warmly
Then see yourself confidently leaving the building with a smile on your face and your head held high.

Once you have done this then imagine stepping into the movie screen as if you are really there acting out the part. When you rehearse this in your mind you are programming your body in how to behave and feel. It will not guarantee the sale but it will ensure you feel confident in your sales meetings!

Remember that you are doing a discovery meeting. Your prospect has already told you they have a problem, they want to fix it, and they understand the kind of costs involved. Your objective is to take charge and get your prospects to tell you all about their problem, what they want instead, and why they need help in fixing it.

In a good discovery meeting, the prospect is doing most of the talking and your job is to get them talking and guiding the conversation so that you get the information you require to be able to deliver a compelling sales proposal. Do not just listen to what they say, though. Challenge what they say and dig deeper if you do not think they are giving you the information that you require.
Review and refine

The more sales meetings you do, the more confident you will get provided you review and refine. As soon as you can after your sales meeting, preferably within a hour, sit down and review how the meeting went. Make a long list of everything you did well and decide one or two things you will do differently next time. If you are new to sales meetings and struggling for positives then remember to congratulate yourself for showing up!