The first five minutes of a sales meeting is like the foundation of a house – get it right and everything else falls into place fairly smoothly. Bungle it, and you’ll find forward progress is impossible without first repairing the damage. Clearly, your pre-call planning should include time devoted to these first crucial minutes of the meeting. But what should you be thinking about? In his book
Rain Making, Ford Harding, president of Maplewood, New Jersey-based Harding & Co., says there are five components to consider:
Done well, all this takes about five minutes and "tees the client up" to talk about an important issue that you might be able to help with. When everything goes well and the client is talking freely at the five or six-minute mark, the sale, says Harding, is half made.