Congrats! You have secured the meeting. Now what?
1. Make any last minute changes to your PowerPoint (see previous blog on what to include in the PP). Print out copies of the PP and have extras on hand for others (i.e. another buyer, an assistant) who might join the meeting.
2. Have extra product samples available (even if you have previously mailed samples).
3. Ask others who you know who are already selling into this retailer for advice. Does your source know your buyer? What can they tell you about this buyer’s personality to help you prepare for a smooth introduction? What worked for them, what did not? Use their experience to help you get a better foothold. (And, be prepared to “give back” to that person who offered you the insight. Send them a thank you card letting them know how much you appreciated their advice. Circle back with them and tell them how your meeting went. Ask them how you can help them.)
4. Email the buyer or assistant a week in advance of your meeting to confirm your appointment (down to the time zone and meeting room – note, in some cases you are not just waiting in a lobby, you may have to go and find a meeting room). Also confirm who will be attending the meeting (get first and last names).
5. Show up early, be prepared to wait, and keep your meeting to the allotted timeframe (if they say they have ½ hour for you, keep it to a ½ hour – of course you don’t want to walk out in the middle of one of their questions. You can always politely say to them that you realize that your ½ hour is up but that you are more than happy to stay as long as needed to get essential questions answered).
6. Ask the buyer’s assistant, or call the receptionist, for the appropriate dress attire. It’s always better to be over dressed than under dressed.
7. Consider bringing an extra pair of walking shoes in addition to your 2 ½” heels. Also consider bringing a stick of deodorant, especially if it’s during the blistering summer. Some corporate parking lots are very full thus requiring you to walk quite a distance from your parking spot. Arriving calm, collected, and not smelly or with hurt feet is always nice.
8. If you are flying quite a distance to your meeting, arrive the day before. There is no reason to risk missing this vital meeting because of the inevitable plane delay or cancellation. (And, be sure to pack your Psi Bands for motion sickness relief for that bumpy flight!)
Stay tuned for a future blog on common mistakes people make when pitching to a buyer. You might be surprised!