9 Reasons Having An Agenda Improves Your Sales Outcomes

It would be easy to forgo creating a meeting agenda and just wing it, but that would be a big mistake. Agendas are far more powerful than most people realize. They represent a valuable tool that mitigates risk and greatly improves the likelihood that each meeting will have the outcome you desire.

Agendas provide nine important functions:

  1. Position you as a true professional and advisor
  2. Heighten the importance to your meeting
  3. Define the meeting’s objectives
  4. Show potential attendees why it is important to attend
  5. Set expectations
  6. Help invitees prepare
  7. Provide structure and sequence to the meeting
  8. Dedicate time to establish action items and next steps
  9. Provide a way to measure the success of the meeting

Collaborating With Your Client

A solid meeting agenda ensures that the time invested in it has a valuable return for everyone. Your goal is to obtain your ideal advance and deliver your prospect both edification and unexpected value.  The best way achieve this win-win dynamic is to collaborate with your client on the agenda.

Collaborating with your client or prospect on the meeting agenda achieves a three-fold purpose:

  1. It ensures you don’t overlook any key objectives.
  2. It ensures the depth and duration of each item stays within the meeting’s overall time-frame.
  3. It increases buy-in from attendees who have a hand in designing the meeting.

Getting Attendance, Participation & Support

By asking for input from your prospect along with their key staff members, departments, and managers who should be involved, the likelihood of your success increases dramatically. Their input, combined with yours, regarding topics to include and how much time should be devoted to each will garner greater attendance, acceptance, and support for your meeting.

In complex sales where many parties may be involved, start the process well in advance as requesting the input of many people can take a considerable amount of time. The more people involved, the longer the process can take. Do not wait until the last minute to formulate a collaborative agenda. A very straightforward agenda can take a week to complete simply due to the number of parties involved. So, as soon as you’re aware that a meeting is needed, begin the process of formulating an agenda with your prospect.

Sharing is a Good Sign

If your prospect is actively adding agenda items, that is a good thing.  Let them continue to share. Sometimes this process can result in far too many agenda items to cover in the allotted time.  That’s a good sign of engagement but you will need to digest all that they have shared and narrow the focus to a meeting that is manageable. Acknowledge the importance of the non-included items and set up another time to cover these in another discussion.

As you revise the agenda, share updates and changes with your key contact and any other people involved to ensure the agenda still makes sense.

The creation of an agenda for each sales encounter will greatly improved the effectiveness and impact of your sales meetings.

In our next post we’ll discuss how to make each function of your meeting agenda even more powerful.

Closing Tip: Agendas are powerful tools that greatly improve the likelihood that each meeting will have the outcome you desire. Create an agenda for every encounter.

Until next time!

James

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