Perhaps the simplest step that you can take to improve your sales success rate is to confirm the call with an agenda.

This simple habit serves multiple objectives:

Because you’re a professional that takes this seriously, and you want to make sure everyone else is equally prepared and ready to benefit from your services and solution.

And because you don’t want to be waiting around in a lobby or on a conference line, only to be disappointed and stood-up.

The Importance of a Simple Agenda

The agenda itself reconfirms expectations. It should communicate simply and succinctly the scope of the meeting, the attendees, and the customer’s desired outcome. It also provides a chance for the customer to review and prepare for the meeting, and add to or edit the agenda and priorities.

Perhaps most important, this step is an opportunity to uncover any potential surprises and revise your meeting preparation, sales response or overall account strategy. It is not unusual for a customer to announce some change in plans or attendees or priorities at this last minute. As unpleasant or discouraging the news might be, it’s nonetheless preferable to learn this beforehand rather than have it dropped in your lap during the sales call itself.

Again, this should be a standard part of your sales process. And it’s one of the easiest. Take a quick moment at least one day prior to your scheduled meeting. Draft up a concise, informative email that 1) reconfirms the appointment details and 2) covers the key topics and objectives of the upcoming call.

Trust me, this a simple, pro move. Here’s a simple example:

Hi Jim,
Just a quick note to confirm tomorrow’s call at 10:30. (I’ve attached in the dial-in details below.)
Based on our conversations, we’re expecting to cover:

  • Discussion of your current member engagement process and issues
  • WonderTool’s member intake approach and process
  • Integration and implementation overview *(this links to a post that talks about moving implementation forward…)

Are there other topics or issues we should be addressing? Also, my notes have Susan and George attending. Is that right?
Let me know if we need to add/change this. Otherwise, looking forward to our conversation tomorrow at 10:30.
Brendan

There is a risk, of course. Your customer could look at their calendar, see how busy things are, and push this meeting out. Something to consider.

But here is a more likely response:

George can’t make it, but we’ll be fine and can catch him up later. And remember, our big priority is on the least disruption given our fall product rollout.
Jim

An even more likely response would look like this:

Thanks. Looks good. Talk tomorrow.

The risk of being postponed (or cancelled outright) is limited, and this works as another opportunity to qualify the opportunity. How engaged and responsive is your customer? And how collaborative? Maybe you learn something more about the opportunity or the organization.

Chances are your client will appreciate the effort. It’s a reminder, and a chance to prepare.

Make it a Habit

Do this a few times and it will become second nature. Put a reminder in your calendar if that helps. Create an email template to make it easier.

Again, you want to get this email/agenda reminder out to your meeting attendees at least a full working day prior. And if you’re traveling to the customer meeting, send it a day before you’re set to leave.

Finally, be sure to include any administrative assistants on the ‘cc list. It’s another channel to get the message out, and a subtle reminder to have conference space and other resources at the ready.

Like you are. Ready, prepared and professional.