Five Tips to a Great First Meeting With a Potential Customer

Studies reveal that only 2% of sales occur when two parties meet for the first time.

You only get one chance to make a good first impression. It takes a lot of hard work to book a sales meeting. If you don’t make good use of it, you’ve just wasted resources and most importantly – TIME. Experts believe that if you make yourself distinct by doing an amazing job at the first sales meeting, you have a better chance of closing the deal in one of the subsequent meetings.

Here are five ways to be distinct from other sales people:

1. Be the Expert

  • To be credible, you must be an expert in your field.
  • Do not overwhelm your potential customer with jargon and technical terms
  • Demonstrate your skill as an expert by being able to relate your client’s situation
  • How their “itch” might be solved through your solution in ways they can understand.
  • Create a mutual understanding of the problems your customers are facing and that you might be able to help them.
  • Again, do not cloud their understanding by using meaningless technical terms

2. Do your research

  • Before your first sales meeting, do a few web searches so you can learn about your potential customer.
  • Learn as much as you can about their organization
  • Research news on the web that relates to their market
  • Being able to get a good sense of your potential customer’s background will help you come up with interesting perspectives you can share with them.

3. Be Curious

  • One of the most critical sales skill is Curiosity.
  • When are curious about people, business and situations, you can’t help but ask a lot of questions
  • Potential customers love being asked a lot of questions. This is because:

    • They will do most of the talking and people enjoy talking about themselves.
    • They will feel great about the sales meeting
    • If you listen with intent and have 101% presence in the meeting, your customer will feel listened to and appreciated – customers love that!
    • You will understand your customer’s outlook that will become critical information to help you solve their “itch” in the best way possible.

4. Ask all the right questions – Before and During the Meeting

  • Ask yourself these questions before your first sales meeting:

    • Why is this client taking the time to meet you?
    • What are your client’s strategic goals, opportunities and threats?
    • How will you show your customer what you do rather than talking about how great you are?
    • How will you differentiate your organization from the competition?

What are possible objections your customer could have? How will you handle them?

  • Structure your questions to be high level to ensure the customer know the answer to them.
  • Your first question should take you in the right direction.
  • Here are some examples of questions that can help you accomplish bullet points 2 and 3:

    • What are the top three things you want to achieve right now?
    • Why are these three things important to you and what changes would you like take place?
    • How are you making those changes possible to achieve?
    • As you work towards those changes, what is working and what is not working?

5. Is there value in moving forward?

  • Ask if they see value in continuing the discussion – 2nd meeting to close the deal
  • Be sure to be polite and not pressure your potential customer


The first sales meeting is not over until you follow up. These are usually an email with the following components:

1. Summary of the customer’s goals and requirements

2. Description of your solution and its strengths and benefits

3. Next steps – as agreed at the end of the first meeting.

Take these five steps and apply it the next time your book a potential customer for your first sales meeting with them.