Make an Entrance - Own the Meeting
How do you generate a positive, charismatic & influential impact with people? How do you own a meeting to give yourself the best chance of getting a win win outcome?
This is a checklist of the most crucial points, starting with the moment you begin the process of making an entrance - when you wake up!
SEIZE THE DAY!
Get up and GO! or just get up and go?
If you need them, what are your key recovery strategies to start the rest of the day from strength? Go over them. hangover? headache? argument with your spouse? Have strategies to change your state to one of in control and confident.
Have passion, purpose and vitality!
Have congruence with yourself (mental/physical)
And congruence between Beliefs / Values / your Company / and your Products
Check your wardrobe, grooming and appearance
Check your equipment works (and that you have your laptop cables!)
Check your research notes on the people, the company again. Be knowledgeable about your proposition and the problems it can solve.
In any home or office sales situation make sure that all parties in the decision making will be there.
- ARRIVE at least 10 minutes early and if you have access to the meeting room check its layout and choose the best position to take your seat when the meeting starts. You will want to focus on the seat of power Will have most space and likely have everything close at hand. Other decision makers are likely to sit closer together as a group.
- CHECK appearance
- RELAX and clear your mind, abdominal breathing, focus on now
- REVIEW your notes
- MENTAL rehearsal - Visualize the meeting going well, with receptive attendees, shaking hands on the win win outcome agreed.
- FEEL Good, resourceful, poised, in control: Use a practiced Mind Control technique - Recall a time when you were strong, in control, resourceful. Use a positive resource anchor (a mannerism such as two fingers and thumb pressed together with left hand, or hand you do not write with. See what you saw, hear what you heard, and feel what you felt with visualization of the situation as if now, until you you achieve this state without having to think of it, you will simply instantly feel as you did at a time when you felt this way)
From the start -
- Make first impressions count, even to whoever is behind reception - she may be the boss and not the secretary! (and be prepared for first impressions taking place more than once!)
- Stand tall, own your space.
- NO negative talk about weather, traffic getting there etc!
- Establish rapport, mutual respect and responsiveness (this is a whole subject in itself)
- Be alert, externally focused
- Make eye contact
- Sensory awareness
Check your Posture and use of own space; gesture; facial expression; breathing, overall air of confidence and spirit of friendliness
Tone (pitch); Tempo; Timbre; Volume & Projection make a difference - presentation & speech practice - throwan imaginery dart with your arm at the beginning of every word and notice the difference! Change tonality elements when making a point, or soften and lower your voice for emotion, understanding etc
OWN THE MEETING:
- Control the preamble
- Ask how much time you have (some time criteria should have been pre-arranged but it can change)
- Claim ownership of the meeting by making YOUR proposal for the agenda before they do! (Consider the service and opening moves in a game of tennis! Which player invariable owns the game?)
- Own the notes taken at the meeting and read them back to your prospect at the end (This is very important, plus, they can also see and hear you have understood)
“How much time do we have?”
“That’s great - OK I’ll be making notes and then at the end we’ll quickly recap and I’ll copy them to you”.
“You agreed to meet me because you have a problem with (be specific) your payroll/your competitor’s proposition/……./have a problem you need to solve/need a solution to ……….”
“Is there anything else that we should address in order to get the full picture”
BUILD RAPPORT & LISTEN WELL:
- Ask questions
- Listen, and listen some more - and flush out any objections there may be (their physiology will be telling!)
- Rapport is the ability to enter someones else’s world. Any resistance in a client is a sign of a lack of rapport. There are no resistant clients, only inflexible communicators!
- With practice you can establish rapport with any person, at any moment in time.
SO HOW DO YOU BUILD RAPPORT?
Matching & Mirroring:
If there is more than one person in the meeting, notice who leads in the group, and who follows. (If you notice someone changes body posture and others follow for instance).
Use sentences with multi-sensory or client-specific language. Words and body language are linked to the way we, and they, internally think:
V = Visual words are phrases like - I “see” what you mean, You have an “eye” for detail, “looks” good to me
A = Auditory examples such as - it “sounds” like, it “speaks volumes”, to the “tune” of
K = Kinesthetic - it “feels” right to me, I “sense” there is a “synergy” here
An example of a mixture of all these (in non specific terms here, you will be more specific):
“First I would like to understand the [......] problem you are facing now so that I can get a handle on what your needs are. We will then look at the best solutions, and how they can be implemented to achieve the best possible results. By the end of this meeting you’ll have the full picture so that when you are ready you can make an informed decision. Does that sound like a good agenda for today?”
(notice it uses a mixture of VAK (see below) and asks for an easy “yes” or “no” response. You are still in control).
I suggest you always have in mind a win win outcome for a lasting customer relationship and a firm principal of collaboration - a working together for the mutual betterment. of both companies.
EXTRA NOTES & THEORY:
- Communication is both conscious and unconscious
- Remember 7% WORDS, 38% TONALITY, 55% PHYSIOLOGY
- When people are like each other, they like each other
- It is a process of responsiveness not necessarily “liking”
We can create rapport instantly through words (conscious) and physiology (unconscious)
- Rapport is established by mirroring and matching the following to some degree:
- Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic (feeling) language style (ie. It’s clear to me; it sounds like; I can grasp that)
- Physiology - breathing patterns, posture, tonality, gestures
- Common experiences and associations
- Making your entrance count at the pub or office.
- Practice mirroring/matching with partner, friends without telling them (so they won’t consciously notice!)
- Notice how your friends, colleagues, aquantances communicate and whether they are predominantly V, A or K or a mixture (there is usually a predominance of one with some use of the other two).
- Practice VAK communciation with them in unobtrusive ways!
- Think of proposals for the agenda of different meetings then practice different ways of communicating with a mixture of VAK.
- Consider what problems or pain they might have that you could have the solution to.
- Keep in mind that you are looking for a way of working together to solve whatever it may be and that you want to negotiate a win win outcome
Worth seriously noting - This could be applied in many situations and even relationships!
Author: Annette Taylor-Schofield
Resources: NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming is a very powerful system of communication