After working hard to find the right prospect and having a great first meeting, you want to be sure the second meeting happens (and in the shortest timeframe possible)! Below are our Door Openers’ best practices for keeping the conversation moving.
1. Date & Time. The easiest way to make sure the second meeting happens (and the best way to shorten your sales cycle) is to set a date and time for the next meeting before the first meeting concludes. Ten minutes before the end of an hour-long meeting, try saying, “I’m watching the clock for you and see we have 10 minutes left. Let’s set a date and time to ______________. How is Thursday at 10?” Then, summarize next steps and who will do what by when.
Note: If a full meeting is not appropriate, ask for a 10-minute check in call within the next 3 weeks. If no next steps are appropriate, ask yourself if this really was a good prospect, or if you could have run the meeting differently to get a better outcome. If the prospect is a good fit, set reminders to send relevant content over time with reasons why meeting again would be valuable for the prospect.
2. Send a calendar invite immediately. Include a sentence reiterating the value of the second meeting to minimize cancellations/reschedules (especially if the invite may be forwarded to additional stakeholders who don’t yet know the situation).
3. Send a follow-up email within 24 hours. BRIEFLY summarize next steps, address points you wished you covered and be sure to preempt internal objections. Use a collaborative versus indebted tone; the meeting was valuable for your prospect, too!
4. Set a reminder 48 hours after sending invite to make sure it was accepted. If no acceptance comes, email or call and ask the prospect to accept it. If no acceptance comes 2 days before the scheduled meeting, the chance of that meeting happening without a painful rescheduling process is very low. Try sending this email at that point, “Hi _____, my Outlook wasn’t showing you confirmed the 12/15 calendar invite. I’m happy to resend if needed; I just wanted to make sure the time was on your schedule.”
5. Always confirm the appointment via voice (in addition to email). The ONLY exception would be if he/she accepted the invite right away AND the second appointment is within 2 days of the first. Put a reminder on your calendar to be sure YOU confirm. Confirming via voice (catching them live or leaving a voicemail) is more personal and provides an opportunity to reinforce the value of the meeting.
Note: If additional stakeholders will be joining the second call/meeting (especially your contact’s superiors), ask what you should emphasize/de-emphasize based on who will be attending, A/V needs, etc. If the meeting is 4+ weeks out, send valuable content in between to keep them engaged.