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Buyer meeting management requires great presence and solid meeting facilitation skills. Remember, the goal is to create a climate in which people are comfortable being in and expressing themselves.

When you create such a dynamic with a buyer you have a true sense of being in it together, mutual respect, genuine curiosity, and vulnerability.

Facilitating from the Head: Facilitation Skills

When the buyer senses a genuine interest on your part to engage in a meaningful way, to take care of them by respecting their time and input, and to respond with understanding and flexibility to what evolves during the meeting, they in turn are more likely to respond in a positive and productive way. 

It is the role of the facilitator during the meeting to monitor the buyer’s level of energy and engagement and be able to change the dynamic of the meeting based on those observations or feedback. When this is done effectively, the success of the meeting becomes a shared responsibility of the buyer and the sales professional.

Effective meeting facilitation skills include:

  • Review the agenda and meeting objectives
  • Ask appropriate questions to stimulate conversation
  • Manage time
  • Keep discussions on track
  • Ensure all voices are heard, particularly the buyer’s
  • Remain aware of and responsive to interpersonal dynamics as they evolve and address those that could hurt the meeting objectives                
  • Listen for what is being said and not said
  • Summarize the main points and reframe when necessary   

Facilitating from the Heart: Great Presence

E. M. Forster, the great British writer, famously once wrote, “Only connect.” The core human task, he is saying, the absolute essential requirement for human beings, is that they form powerful connections. People are inspired to achieve great things when they form powerful connections with each other.

To figure out the right way to show up and connect with the buyer requires some observation aka reading the audience. This needs to happen at a macro and micro level. At the macro level, it’s about noting the overall energy and mood in the room. Does the buyer seem engaged and engaging? At the micro level, it’s about observing and responding to the individuals’ levels of apparent engagement and reactions. Does the CFO look and sound interested, for example? Is he or she bored? Our job is to gauge and respond to the presences of those to whom we are trying to present. 

Effective facilitation presence includes:

  • Stay present
  • Connect with the buyer
  • Read the audience and respond appropriately
  • Show vulnerability
  • Model the behavior you want to encourage
  • Convey passion
  • Be appropriately expressive – voice, body language, facial expression