It all started with chaos - and that’s how it would be if you didn’t plan your sales meetings. Many experienced salespeople would tell you that the more work you put into planning, the more successful you’ll be. Below, in just a few steps, we’ll show you how to effectively plan sales meetings, and why planning is important.

Knowing who you’re meeting is crucial. Not just knowing about your client’s company, but knowing whether the person you’re meeting with is a decision-maker. Such information isn’t the easiest to find, but it definitely improves your chances of a successful meeting. If you want to be well prepared, it’s important to do some basic research on the client. Their industry, product, number of employees, business environment, and competitors are all important. All this allows you to prepare an offer that’s interesting for the client. If it isn’t the first meeting, you should refresh your knowledge of the client using your CRM database or your own notes. It is also worth studying their order history, and complaints, and all other factors that could shape the client’s opinion about your company. This information will allow you to take the next steps in planning the meeting.


  • You have to know who you’re meeting.
  • You have to know as much as possible about the client’s company.
  • You have to know the client’s purchase history.

Meeting objective

Before meeting, you need to know why you’re meeting, what you want to achieve. Your information on the client will help you establish a goal. It could be to make the first sale, to maintain the relationship, or to clear up misunderstandings. It’s worth using the well-known S.M.A.R.T method to set your goal:

  • S(pecific) - the goal should be specific,
  • M(easurable) - the goal should be measurable,
  • A(chievable) - the goal should be achievable,
  • R(elevant) - the goal should be relevant,
  • T(ime-bound) - the target should be defined in time.

Using this method will allow you to establish rational goals which will significantly increase your chances of achieving them.

Examples of goals compatible with this method are:

  • Increase Client A’s order value by 5% by the end of the month.
  • Acquire 10 new clients by the end of the first quarter of 2019.


  • Setting a realistic goal increases your likelihood of achieving it.
  • Meetings without goals won’t bring any benefits.
  • The goal-setting process answers the question of what you really want to achieve.


Full access available for logged users only. Log in or select the best subscription option here..

Log in Order a subscription
Favorites Print

Also check

"We've gone to too much trouble to give up now!"


You probably know the saying: ‘give a finger and they’ll take your whole hand’. It’s often said by parents who are trying to explain to their children that they’re crossing the line. This saying can also apply to sales. Let’s start from the beginning.

Read more

What does an elevator have to do with sales?


It’s no secret that - unless you live in the middle of nowhere - you come into contact with about three thousand marketing messages a day. This is the necessary minimum that we absorb when living in the so-called civilized world. As a consequence, we can devote less and less time to acquiring new information about possible business offers. That is why a good, short ‘pitch’ is now of premium importance. An ‘elevator pitch’ is just a short, several seconds-long presentation which is supposed to encourage your audience to learn more about your proposal. How should we prepare our pitch to best interest our listeners?

Read more

Don't tense up with tenses. How to become the master of the past, the present and the future. Part I


In the last issue of the magazine I initiated a new thread in the Skills Academy column. The article covered handling a communication breakdown caused by our temporary inability to express ourselves due to a lack of the necessary vocabulary. There is of course another, equally important area of language where such breakdown may occur—namely the usage of tenses. Even those learners of English whose native languages contain more than just three tenses (the past, the present and the future) encounter problems with building and using English ones, let alone those who distinguish only three tenses in their mother tongues. In this article I would like to outline the basic rules and logic governing English tenses so that you can use them with greater confidence and therefore mitigate the risk of being misunderstood.

Read more

Go to