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Have some ideas in mind. Pre-call planning is one of those best practices that everyone knows but perhaps sometimes forgets. It is difficult to overemphasize the importance of pre-call planning.
In major accounts, pre-call planning has several components. For an important face-to-face customer meeting, think about: what is the objective of the meeting, what points do you want to make, what questions do you want to ask the customer, what questions might the customer ask of you, and what are the action steps you would like to see as a result of the meeting.
A pre-call plan can also be modified and transformed into a meeting agenda that is shared with the customer. The advantage of sharing an agenda is multi-fold. First, the customer sees an initial outline of the meeting from your perspective, and they can add to it – minimizing surprises during the meeting. Second, you can vet the agenda with others at your company who might know the customer as well as your internal champions to see how it will resonate with the customer. A small shift can often have significant payoffs.
Think about all that you offer. Although competitors may attempt to paint a picture of parity about your individual products or services, they often cannot tell a compelling competitive story when the total range of your capabilities is considered. As we said earlier, this can be a problem because customers usually define the range of your capabilities simply as the products or services they are using – the result is a limited perspective.
To change the picture, when preparing for customer meetings, think about the breadth of your capabilities and determine which ones should be highlighted to improve your competitive advantage.