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How to fare in an offline business meeting

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by Lithin, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Lithin

    Lithin Regular Member

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    This will be a guide for the technician that needs to sell their product, but needs a couple of pointers to get out there and excel at selling instead of building links.
    This guide will point some general sales techniques out which is obvious to some. Also English isn't my first language so have patience with me.

    Most of us on this forum are probably clasified INTJ (myers briggs test) though i'm lucky to be a bit more outward and land on ENTJ 9/10 times and only INTJ on an offday.
    Find out what you are by taking this test:
    Code:
    [URL]http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp[/URL]
    More about Myers briggs here:
    Code:
    [URL]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator[/URL]
    It will tell you what your personal weakness are and you can therefor work on them.
    There isn't a "wrong" answer in these tests. Think of it as a personal SWOT analyses.

    Some people are born with a sales talent, the rest of us gotta practice it.


    Presenting yourself

    An important part of selling a product is to sell yourself. Most customers doesn't care if they pay a few extra bucks if they know they can trust you. A part of that trust comes from you looking good.
    Buying a pair of slacks, some black dress shoes, a white shirt and a tie even though you are only 18, will give you so much credit when you meet with them because appearances do matter.
    You don't have to buy a specific brand or something expensive as most people will see this as an effort and feel they are dealing with a pro, even though your product is the same as the next guy.
    Also make sure that you smell good (mints are a must :)).

    Also coldcalling might work but trying to land meetings when you are out anyways, by showing up at their doorstep with some sales materials, may land you a instant meeting (they got 10 minutes and you are there anyways)


    Body language

    When meeting them for the first time you will notice that most techniques used in the dating scene can easily make you likeable, without them even noticing you are trying to game them.

    Mirroring
    Mirroring is a simple technique that makes them feel comfortable with you. The basic principle is that you mirror some of their actions without overdoing it. This can be if they lean forward - you lean forward. If they nod - you nod. This is a trick to play with the subconcious, and will make you more likeable if you don't overdo it during the meeting. If you overdo it, it will look weird so try to minimize it.
    Mirroring speech is also important. If he talk slow and uses a lot of slang, slow down your speak and match his slang. If they are fast and straight to the point - be fast and straight to the point.
    Never interrupt a story of theirs. When telling stories you build a relationship and relationships builds trust. Also remember these stories so you can refer to them later.

    Kino (touching)
    When meeting with a customer you will have a handshake. It important to have a firm handgrip though not overdo it so it looks like you are the "alpha male" (more of that below). Match his handshake!
    If you close it afterwards make sure to play the "politicians handshake". This method is good when building trust though not when you are a stranger.

    Eye contact
    This is very important. If your eyes are everywhere when you are explaining your product, it will look like you are insecure of your product. Yet if you stare him/her down, it will look like you are trying to convince him that it is true what you are saying.
    Read your "opponent"
    There are some general ways to read them. There are different body postures that will define their thinking. But do not, i repeat, DO NOT take one body posture out of context. Most people know that if someone crosses their arms they are "closed" and therefor unwilling to what you propose.
    Every person is different and so many factors can play in here; he might be cold, he might relax in this position or he even might just be playing you. Make sure to read up on different body language and never take one position out of context.


    Psychology
    There is so much psychology going on in a meeting.
    You wanna stand out as an equal. Not be below him (beta) or above him (alpha). If you sound too superior (especially when dealing with people from the contruction business) they will think you got a bloated ego and dismiss you because they don't like you. You might even be cheaper and better than the next one walking in, but if he is more likeable than you, he will most likely get the customer.

    Beta / Alpha
    If you are too insecure about your product or stand out as insecure, they will most likely walk all over you and will not trust you. Landing a deal is all about trust. If you can convince them to trust you, they will throw their money at you. Though if you stand out too macho they will most likely see this as arrogance and when you aren't likeable it is harder to trust you. This all comes down to reading people. Every customer is different. While a construction worker might be more down to earth, a lawyer will require you to be more fast and outspoken.

    Coffee etc.
    When they offer you something you got to take it. Mirror their actions like described above. I like my coffee black. If i go to a customer and i see him drink coffee with milk, i take my coffee with milk. Also if they aren't having anything, don't take anything. This is not crucial, but everything combined will count towards their first impression of you.

    Practice, Practice, Practice
    Most of us doesn't have all of this down, but one this you can work on is muscle memory.
    Try to sell a arbitrary product to a family member or collegue. You might be at work and have a collegue which prefers tea above coffee. Try to sell him coffee (a product which is free and you can get for him ASAP). This will make you more practiced and when in a meeting you will not feel as awkward.



    Profiling
    Even when not landing a customer, make sure that you keep some kind of contact after and make sure you create a profile of this customer (if talking to multiple people at a company - keep multiple profiles). This will make you able to refer to events or occurances in their life, and make you able to upsell stuff in the future.

    What this case study shows is, that building relationships can be worthwhile, though not in all cases. Sometimes it's wasted work but other times it can help you upsell, or land a new contract. Out of this specific guy i made well over 2k USD on this one deal and i'm still hosting his website today. He also refered me to a friend of his that had a golf club at his workplace and i made a forum for them.


    Conclusion
    I'm not saying this is any form of "read it and you will succeed" but i know it was a scary feeling to show up at my first meeting.
    Try to prepare as much as possible and practice. Other than that i hope that you can take just one thing from this little guide and apply it to your meetings. I hope I didn't rant too much. If you got any questions please reply to this post so we can take questions in the open so everyone can learn from it. If someone got some inputs to this, please tell me so i can add it.
    Thanks.
     
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  2. manupi

    manupi Newbie

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    great advice
     
  3. Chupin

    Chupin Newbie

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    [SIZE=+1]Your Type is [SIZE=+2]INTJ[/SIZE][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=+1][/SIZE][SIZE=+1][/SIZE]
    Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging
    [SIZE=+0]Strength of the preferences %[/SIZE]
    33 88 50 11
    Wanted to post and show that you nailed me perfectly without knowing a thing about me. Funny.

    I took some notes on what you had to say, I think they'll be helpful in the future. Thanks for the post.
     
  4. Lithin

    Lithin Regular Member

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    Hehe, i'm glad i did.
    Now for the pure probability that I'm gonna hit someone is of course through the roof, but the reason why i can pinpoint most of BHW is INTJ's is because people ask a lot of questions about selling themselves in the "real world" and got no problem selling their product online.

    INTJ's are usually the technician with a lot of skill and is a bit introvert. Basically with this guide you throw some of the introvertnes (is that even a word?) off you and get more extraverted.
    When you are comfortable with the product it's not really that hard to sell it, you just have to know the playing field and exploit it to your advantage.
     
  5. sirthomas

    sirthomas Registered Member

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    Occupation:
    Local Business Marketing
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    Most people in the IM industry are INTP and INTJ.
     
  6. imperial109

    imperial109 Regular Member

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    Lol, yup, INTJ

    Don't do this. The kinesthetics of politicians is to show dominance over other people. When you're approaching a business owner, or someone in a position of power, and you come in trying to take that away, they will subconsciously react in a negative manner. Remember, you're there to help, not take over.



    Also, smile.
     
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  7. Lithin

    Lithin Regular Member

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    Usually its to display benevolence, and give a warm feeling across like: "Im here to help".
    I wouldn't lead with it, but if you have made a sale and/or it's a return meeting, it is nice to finish it with one to build even more trust.

    EDIT:
    maliki_ahmadinejad_handshake.jpg
    Here you can see Nouri al-Maliki signal to the west that they are doing something about the problem with the shi-ite factions in basra. This was an important signal for Iran to make at the time, because they were hardpressed by America at the time.
    More info here: Psychology is used everywhere, just more in sales and politics.



    Most important thing ever. Can't stress this enough.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2012
  8. theag

    theag Junior Member

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    good advice there!

    did the test out of curiousity and it matched what I think of myself..

    [SIZE=+1]Your Type is [SIZE=+2]ESTJ[/SIZE][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=+1][/SIZE][SIZE=+1][/SIZE]
    Extraverted Sensing Thinking Judging
    [SIZE=+0]Strength of the preferences %[/SIZE]
    67 1 1 67
     
  9. necro

    necro Regular Member

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    [SIZE=+1]Your Type is
    [SIZE=+2] ENTJ[/SIZE][/SIZE]
    Extraverted Intuitive Thinking Judging
    [SIZE=-0]Strength of the preferences %[/SIZE]
    1 25 25 33
     
  10. pxoxrxn

    pxoxrxn Supreme Member

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    I got this, I'm not sure what it means exactly because I have never read the others. I've done this test about 5 times now over the last 2 years and got the same thing every time.

    [SIZE=+1]Your Type is [SIZE=+2]INTJ[/SIZE][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=+1][/SIZE][SIZE=+1][/SIZE]
    Introverted Intuitive Thinking Judging
    [SIZE=+0]Strength of the preferences %[/SIZE]
    44 75 12 1
     
  11. necro

    necro Regular Member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INTJ
     
  12. en.smartis

    en.smartis Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Good read; Lithin.
    Will read again.

    Tried the test as well, fun stuff.

    Your Type is ENTJ
    [FONT=verdana, arial, sans-serif]Extraverted[/FONT] [FONT=verdana, arial, sans-serif]Intuitive[/FONT] [FONT=verdana, arial, sans-serif]Thinking[/FONT] [FONT=verdana, arial, sans-serif]Judging[/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, arial, sans-serif]Strength of the preferences %[/FONT]
    [FONT=verdana, arial, sans-serif]44[/FONT] [FONT=verdana, arial, sans-serif]25[/FONT] [FONT=verdana, arial, sans-serif]38[/FONT] [FONT=verdana, arial, sans-serif]11 [/FONT]
     
  13. qu4rk

    qu4rk Junior Member

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    For those taking the test. It really isn't that important. Don't focus on that. Anyone can learn to sell, because anyone can change their personality, because our personality is simply a set of habits, and our habits come from our inner game (ie. self-image, self-talk, self-esteem, self-concept, etc.)

    What the OP posted is good stuff.

    I'd like to add. Self confidence is a must. My mantra is this. Business owners are like a dog, if they see that you are weak, then they will dominate you. Doing things like, rushing the meeting to an end, or pressing you for a price, or pressing you to drop your price. If they feel they are below you, then you're not going to get the sale. So the equal point in the OP is key.

    Also, the handshake. If you want to do it, then do so. My advice however is NEVER do this. You are in the business world. People have idiosyncrasies about touch (which in my opinion is part of why some women get into relationships & then lose their desire for sex in LONG term relationships). Also, people have this predefined concept about "business" and how the "business" world is. Some people in the "business" world would be offended if you pat them on the back (kino). Kino works well & is a must in the pickup world. I.e. If you are trying to pick up women.

    Also, with profiling. Qualify a prospect before you build a relationship. Then, you can save yourself from making relationships that may not be your next rain maker.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 9, 2012
  14. ilcarnefice

    ilcarnefice Junior Member

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    No one else got ENTP? lol

    [SIZE=+1]Your Type is [SIZE=+2]ENTP[/SIZE][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=+1][/SIZE][SIZE=+1][/SIZE]
    Extraverted Intuitive Thinking Perceiving
    [SIZE=+0]Strength of the preferences %[/SIZE]
    22 38 12 22
     
  15. Seminole

    Seminole Junior Member

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    Odd...

    [SIZE=+1]Your Type is [SIZE=+2]ENFP[/SIZE][/SIZE]
    [SIZE=+1][/SIZE][SIZE=+1][/SIZE]
    Extraverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving
    [SIZE=+0]Strength of the preferences %[/SIZE]
    1 38 62 11


    Great info, psych was my major and I love this kind of stuff.
     
  16. Lithin

    Lithin Regular Member

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    Great stuff right here!

    Anyone interested in me writing up some common points you wanna hit in conversations or are you guys confident enough when you got all the basics down?
     
  17. qu4rk

    qu4rk Junior Member

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    I'm interested in key points to hit. I have a good grasp of the process, but never consider myself too smart to learn. Also, we can add to this with other peoples suggestions & make it a killer thread as a reference for newbies & vets alike.
     
  18. Lithin

    Lithin Regular Member

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    Okay, here is some tips and pointers for the conversation that you are gonna spark with the guy on the other side of the table.

    General speech.
    When talking to a manager you need to be sure that he understands everything you are saying, or atleast think he is.
    You can easily talk about SERPs and PageRanks without sounding like a technical superior douche (in their eyes). Just use common terms like "making sure that you are on the first page of google" for SERPS and "making sure that google trusts your site" for PageRank.
    People got different technical levels and it is your job as a salesman to make sure that the product you are selling is clearly drawn up. They honestly don't need to know every little detail, but make sure to tell them about the snazzy little email report you are gonna send them and exactly what you are gonna do it.
    Make sure that you got a visual representation of the different things you are trying to sell. If you got email reports - make sure you got something visual with you, so they know before hand how it is gonna look. If you have ranked a domain on as #1 on a keyword, use that domain as a case (just make sure that you get permission if it is another customer). Seeing www.xydomain.com as #1 spot for "keyword" and afterwards they will see the email with www.xydomain.com will make you look like you are knowing what you are doing.


    ROI
    Return On Investment is a keyword that most upper management knows. It defines the very existance of their business as "how much do i put in vs how much i get from it". If they deem that a project got a low ROI they won't go for it.
    Most of the time they won't even care how they get more customers in, just as long as they are.
    Do some research before you talk to them. Make sure that you got your numbers right. If there is 10.000 MS on a region specific keyword that they are on the fourth page for, make sure to tell them that you will get those customers that are going elsewhere, into his/hers shop.
    People loves to compete when they got their own business. And if a shortcut to stealing from the next guy down the street means they gotta pay you 500USD a month to make 5000USD profit off it they will.

    Visuals.
    I mention it up in general speech.
    PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING
    if something looks like shit, subconciously people will think it is shit. If you suck at photoshop, make sure that you hire a graphic designer. You can even get some really cheap here. Make sure you brand the shit out of your business, as it will make it look more authoritarian. If they can go to your website and see your logo / mascot / whatever and see the same stuff printed all over your papers and business cards - you will stand out to the next guy.

    To sum the whole thing up (TL;DR)
    1) Make sure you are on the level with your customer.
    2) Make sure you mimick his speech and his tone.
    3) Read him by looking at his body language.
    4) Brand the shit out of your business and produce nice visuals
    5) Know thy self. Make sure to know which personality you are and practice beforehand with friends, family and coworkers.
    6) Present yourself in a manner that if someone snapped a picture of you and put you on the frontpage of a newspaper, you would be satisfied with.

    These are just a few guidelines. A lot comes with experience and you don't get that by reading this. So get out there and try. You won't lose if you don't try, but then again; you will not win either.
     
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  19. chrlie

    chrlie BANNED BANNED

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    I got ENTJ
     
  20. JohnSte192

    JohnSte192 Registered Member

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    I agree that it is essential to look good. First impressions are made by how you present yourself. If you look dirty or have on old tattered clothes you are not going to fare as well as if you had on a nice outfit and are clean.