Many sales professionals obsess over the time they spend in front of prospects. Are they saying the right things, asking the right questions, conveying their value? But here’s the thing: Most buying decisions happen outside of these meetings. In fact, Gartner research shows that just 5% of the buyer journey is spent with a sales rep.

Nick Cegelski, founder of the 30 Minutes to President’s Club podcast, says that if you’re only selling when you’re in front of the buyer, you’re leaving a lot of meat on the bone. In this issue of PromoPro Daily — a revamped update to Promotional Consultant Today — we share Cegelski’s four hacks that will help you deepen your relationships with buyers before and after you meet with them.

Hack No. 1: Help your buyer prepare. You know to come prepared for the meeting, but the prospect should also be prepared. Cegelski says it’s your responsibility to ensure the buyer is just as prepared as you. You can do this in many ways, from sending a pre-read email or a quick pre-watch video that covers topics like FAQs on what you sell or how to work with you. When you do this, it signals to the prospect that you know them and you’re giving them the tools to know you.

Hack No. 2: Make a pre-meeting call. This can be helpful before especially big meetings. Cegelski says before a big meeting, call your champion and say something like, “Hey X, I’m really looking forward to meeting with you next week. I’m prepping for the call now to make it as effective as possible. Is there anything you really want to make sure we cover or address?” You can use the same language if you leave a voicemail or send an email.

Hack No. 3: Make a post-meeting call. Doing this can help you build deeper relationships with your prospects. After a group meeting, Cegelski recommends immediately calling each stakeholder and saying something like, “Hi X, I know we just wrapped up the call, but I wanted to see if there’s anything we didn’t cover or address that you were really hoping we would. I’m trying to be more proactive than reactive.” Cegelski says 8 times out of 10, you’ll learn much more from this one-on-one conversation than you did in the big group discussion.

Hack No. 4: Send recaps individually. Don’t just send a mass email with everyone CC’d. This helps combat the bystander effect where everyone assumes someone else will reply, Cegelski says. He recommends slightly personalizing each individual’s email. For example, you could call out something they said in the meeting and then make it clear how your follow-up is specific to them. When should you send these recap emails? Cegelski suggests batch composing them at the end of the day.

If you typically put a lot of pressure on yourself to do well during sales meetings, remember that opportunities abound before and after these discussions. Take time to prepare your prospects for the meeting and ask them what specifically they would like to know. After the call, check in immediately and then send personalized recaps. These four meeting hacks can help you set yourself apart and build deeper connections.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Nick Cegelski is founder and host of the 30 Minutes to President’s Club podcast.