Slintelegraph

5 Pre-Meeting Tips By SDR Leaders To Rock Your Discovery Calls

5 Pre-meeting Tips From Top SDR Leaders

You booked the meeting and now you’re one step closer to winning their business. 

Feels incredible, doesn’t it?

Your first meeting sets the tone for what is going to happen next. It impacts your reputation, their perception of your product, and the deal’s fate.

It goes without saying, the grind to kill it during your first meeting with a new prospect starts right after you book a slot on their calendar, and that’s just the beginning.

To make this grind a smooth one for you, I ran across the nooks and corners of LinkedIn to bring you the 5 best pre-meeting tips.

Full disclosure—I aimed to collect 7 posts but I couldn’t. The topic is sparsely discussed and many posts I found lacked value.

So, I decided to go ahead with these five pre-meeting tips that I found to be cutting the fluff, were actionable, and offered value.

This is the third post of our Learn From The Experts series. You can find the first two posts here:

Let’s begin with the pre-meetings tips!

1. Asking the prospect a few questions before the call.

Charlotte Johnson - Account Executive, Salesloft

Charlotte Johnson – Account Executive, Salesloft

So you’ve booked the meeting…

(woohoo)

Now what?

Just wait until the discovery and hope for the best.

Yes, you can send pre-email/videos to try to make sure they show but is there anything else we can be doing to make sure this time booked in is best used?

What I find when doing discovery calls is time gets eaten up quickly, and by the time I’ve uncovered the juicy challenges I’ve run out of time.

If only I could get to them quickly so could then use more time to dig into them a bit…

So wanted to share something I’ve been doing.

And it’s super easy & quick to do…

= asking the prospect a few questions before the call.

Whether that’s on the phone or a quick video/email.


“Hey {name}, just doing some prep for our call on Thursday (excited to hear more about why the mass hiring at {company}).

Anyway just wanted to ask a quick question so we can best use the time on Thursday. Wondering XYZ”


XYZ could be “wondering what you’re looking to get out of the call”.


And this has helped me, especially with colder meetings, to get an understanding of how familiar they are with our solution & if they have a specific challenge they’re looking to solve.

Bonus, a lot of the time they share their tech stack upfront so I can bring relevant case studies, etc, along.

It also makes your meeting the hardest one to push out of their calendar as shows you want the best use of their time and helps structure an agenda relevant to them.


2. Prep before your meetings

Janet Efere - Sales Trainer and Coach

Janet Efere – Sales Trainer and Coach

So you got the meeting….. now what?

Do you turn up and hope for the best, or do you prep?

Yesterday I was invited to a meeting with a potential new client regarding sales training and, as usual, I did some research first.

There is a lot out there if you look:

🔍 Companies House (I checked their financials and their directors)

🔍 LinkedIn (of course …. we’ll come to that in a minute)

🔍 Their website

🔍 From that I could see they were recruiting, so I checked out the sales roles they advertised

🔍 Twitter – lots of company posts

🔍 Now, back to LinkedIn – I discovered hundreds of employees, searched by job role and then had a look at some of their profiles to see how they presented themselves and how active they were on LinkedIn

🔍 I also had a look at the people who were going to be in the meeting

I found out a ton of stuff.

Some wasn’t that relevant, but loads was – it helped me understand about the size of the company, the culture, I could quickly see some of their issues as well as what they were good at.

It made the meeting more focused, more relevant and personalised.

They liked that I took the trouble.

I wouldn’t do it any other way.

You see, I think it’s about respect, but it is also about positioning yourself as being better than the competition (I haven’t got the faintest idea who I am up against, but I can only be the best version of myself).

And that’s how I like to work.

So, back to my question, do you prep before a meeting?


3. Find the Priority Gap by Executing a Pre-Meeting Drip

Kyle Coleman - SVP, Marketing, Clari

Kyle Coleman – SVP, Marketing, Clari

I found that even after prospects agreed to take a meeting, there was a major gap between:

😍 How much you care about them.

🥱 How much they care about you.

I call this the “priority gap” — they’re one of your highest priorities, and you’re nowhere near their highest priority.

Not yet, anyway.


Their interest may be piqued, but you’re not done earning their time.

You need to execute a “pre-meeting drip” that builds on their initial interest, and works to close the priority gap.

This may include some or all of the following:

💡 Sending content aligned with their use cases

🗣 Sharing testimonials that may resonate

🙌 Genuinely engaging with them on LinkedIn

🗓 Gently reminding them of the appt.

📈 Reiterating the value of the meeting


And this must be a coordinated effort between the SDR & AE.

Too many voices coming from too many different angles can be confusing & counterproductive.


This is a component of the buying experience.

And it’s remarkably differentiating.

Put some thought into your current process, be honest about your shortcomings, and find ways to address them.

🤜🤛 And get butts in seats.


4. Are you addressing what prospects are thinking about subconsciously?

Hannah Ajikawo - Practice Lead, GTM Strategy, EMEA, Skaled Consulting

Hannah Ajikawo – Practice Lead, GTM Strategy, EMEA, Skaled Consulting

It’s not that your discovery is wrong, you’re just kinda not thinking about the Customer.

You’re thinking about your own needs and what your Boss is breathing down your neck.

When a Customer accepts an invite from you or your Inside Rep to sit down and have a discovery call, you typically….

✅ Share an agenda and confirm it early in the call

95% of the time the response at the start of the call is 👇🏾

“Yeah, nothing to add, I just want see your solution and learn more about how you can help us.” (System 1 thinking – fast and emotional)

But there’s more, it’s called the subtext, the metadata, the “below the iceberg stuff.” These are things that float through a Prospective Customer’s mind – sometimes without them even consciously acknowledging it. (System 2 thinking – slow and rational)

🤔 “We really need to know if we’re thinking about this issue, challenge or opportunity (ICO) in the right way”

🤔 “We might have the expertise and tools to figure this out ourselves”

🤔 “I wonder who else they’ve done this with.”

🤔 “Can I trust this team?”

🤔 “How do we figure out the ROI of solving this ICO?

🤔 “What are the broader implications of not changing – can we cope with them a little longer?”

🤔 “X person in my team is going to hate any change we make”

🤔 “I wonder who else I’d need to bring into this discussion”

🤔 “If this doesn’t work with system X, it’s a complete no – go, we’ve spent so much on the platform already”

🤔 “Is this going to be a painful meeting – let me respond to some emails while they take me through the product”

And

The

List

Goes

On.

What are you doing during your discovery to make sure you are addressing the things that WE KNOW Prospects are thinking about subconsciously?


5. Want a great 2nd meeting? You gotta have a stellar 1st one

Nick Cegelski - Founder x Host, 30 Minutes to President’s Club

Nick Cegelski – Founder x Host, 30 Minutes to President’s Club

Many a deal gets fumbled after the first meeting.

Want a great 2nd meeting? You gotta have a stellar 1st one.

Follow these best practices:


🧵 Have a plan of attack to multithread:

If you’re initially meeting with the Director of Finance, look up the CFO’s first name in advance so you can casually drop:

“Typically, folks will involve their CFO for a demo of the analytics module. Think that’s something Armand would want to join for?”


🚗 Don’t put the onus on your “champion” to drive the deal.

Champions disappear. They get too busy. They lose enthusiasm or momentum. Expecting them to drive the deal for you is a folly.

Sellers: It’s your responsibility to “do the work” for your customer to help them navigate the sale.


📋 Nail your agenda upfront in every meeting:

Some examples from Jake Dunlap on this week’s episode of 30 Minutes to President’s Club:

“I want to start up front talking about what we typically see in your industry. Then we’ll share what we do and how we help. If you see value, then we’ll lay out next steps.”

“For the next meeting, you said it may make sense to loop in [team member]. I think it makes sense to spend 15-20 minutes talking about X, Y, and Z with them and getting their thoughts on…”

🧾 Use the second meeting to recap and get input from team members who weren’t around for the first conversation.

Ex. “When I spoke with Emma, she told me that A and B are the most pressing priorities. What does the sales team think about that? What are your concerns?”


How you sell down the road depends so much on how you sell at the beginning of the trip.

Clear expectations keep up the momentum and move the deal forward – not leave it stuck in the mud.

So We’re Saying

There are a hundred ways in which you can prepare beforehand to be in complete control of your sales call. You can scour your prospect’s social media, you can learn everything there is to learn about their organization, and you can build the most impeccable sales pitch.

But there are some lessons that can only be learned from those who’ve done it all, and done it bloody well!

We hope this list of tips will help you with your pre-meeting prep and improve your chances of winning your prospect’s trust as well as the deal.

Do you know what else will help? Slintel’s Chrome Extension. We recommend you start your prospecting journey from here. Thank us later! 😉

PS: Just in case you don’t know, I’m collating the best tips to become a successful SDR/BDR from experts who are sharing their thoughts on LinkedIn. To be precise, I sifted through over 1200 LinkedIn posts to compile multiple lists of best sales advice shared by some of the most loved and sought-after SDR leaders. Watch out for this space for more posts in this series.

Avatar

Nitin Balodi

Add comment