Published 17. Mar. 2023
7 Tips to Rock Your Virtual 1-to-1 CxO Meetings
With customer satisfaction being the number one measure of sales success (Salesforce), sales professionals are having to constantly step up their game to stand out and close deals. This is increasingly difficult in a time when you must fight for people’s attention which is being pulled in every direction by compelling pitches.
So, once you have secured that 1-to-1 virtual meeting with a C-level prospect, you need to not only be interesting and engaging, but you must also be efficient – the people you are meeting do not have time to waste, after all.
So, how do you maximize a virtual meeting, especially if it is only 15-minutes or less? How can you get the most out of your limited time with a prospect? How can you set yourself up for success in a meeting room?
You excite. You impress. You follow up.
Here are some tips to help elevate your performance in a 1-to-1 virtual meeting with a CxO:
1. Know your prospect, know your product
Alexander Graham Bell once said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success”.
It is always good practice to brush up on your prospect’s organization and needs, as well as what you can offer them specifically. Think about what makes your offer better than any others and design your pitch around that.
If the option is available, you may also want to prepare an agenda and send it over before the meeting, along with instructions on the video conferencing platform and schedule. This will allow attendees to be prepared for the virtual meeting and be as productive as possible throughout the session.
Even if you do not send an agenda to your prospect before the meeting, it is good for you to have one for yourself – a game plan for the structure of the conversation based on the goal you are trying to achieve.
Agenda Example: HR Software Pitch Meeting
In this meeting, you are pitching your company’s HR employee management software to a potential client who is looking to upgrade their legacy systems.
Meeting goal: Explain HR Software packages to a CHRO of Big Company
- Warm-up and introductions. Run through meeting agenda.
- Clarify what prospect is looking for.
- Explain how your product works and how it can benefit your prospect.
- Q&A about your product, if any.
- Discuss the next steps – what does your prospect need to do next?
- Set up a follow-up meeting.
- Wrap up & summarize actions required.
Having an agenda sends the message that you know exactly what you are there for and that you value your prospect’s time. Before you even meet them, you are making a good first impression by exercising efficiency and professionalism.
2. Do a pre-meeting technical check
With a virtual meeting, technical difficulties are inevitable. To mitigate any problems and ensure that the meeting is as smooth as possible – and that you are not wasting precious minutes trying to solve a glitch – do a pre-meeting technical check.
An hour before your meeting, check that you:
- Have a stable internet connection
- Have a functioning microphone and camera
- Have a charger that is connected (if using a laptop)
- Have access to the meeting platform
- Know how to present your slides/materials
You should also consider where you are setting up for the meeting – are there background noises? Will there be people walking in and out of the room? You should pick a space that will allow you to have a smooth meeting with little to no disruptions.
These are things you should do at least an hour before your meeting so that you have time to sort out any bugs or find a different space to set up, if necessary. Starting out a meeting with technical difficulties on your end will not breed confidence.
3. Enter the room early
It’s a no-brainer that punctuality makes a good impression, both online and offline. In a virtual meeting, it is even better etiquette to be early so you have time to sort out any kinks that may crop up at the last minute on either end. Despite your pre-meeting technical check, you may encounter unforeseen issues. Being early in the room will give you time to fix any issues.
Being the first one in the virtual meeting room also conveys preparedness and reliability. After all, it is a long-established belief that most people make a first impression within 7 seconds of meeting someone – and you want to make the most of that by putting your best foot forward.
4, Warm things up
When you start out your meeting, do not jump straight into business. Take a minute to break the ice. Get everyone comfortable and warmed up. It will work to your advantage if both sides are relaxed and engaged.
This is also when you can go over the meeting structure and expectations.
- What are your agenda and expectations?
- What are the prospects’ agenda and expectations?
- How long will this meeting be?
- What is the intended outcome?
It is important to swiftly go through these points to ensure that everyone knows what to expect from each other. It will also help both sides stay focused on the agenda throughout the meeting.
5. Keep it concise
When you are meeting with C-level prospects, a great meeting is a concise one. Do not waste time on overly detailed background information about your company or yourself. You are there to tell the prospect how you can improve their business.
One way to do this is to keep your presentations to just one slide with the most relevant and specific information. You may also include a useful case study. Avoid a multiple-slide deck that is packed with every bit of information you can find. Instead, focus on your prospect and what you can offer them.
There are several formulas for creating a winning pitch but one example by Forbes is the three-part pitch:
A powerful step you can add to this formula is to talk about the decisions that need to be made after this meeting. This is your push for action. Whom does your prospect have to talk to in their organization about your product? What other information do they need from you?
6. Wrap up with actions, decisions & conclusions
Once your meeting is over, do a quick wrap-up. Mention any future actions and decisions that need to be taken following this meeting, on both sides. Include soft deadlines for these because it will things keep moving forward. A lack of a timeline for the next step can end up stalling your discussions altogether.
A summary is crucial to ensure that your presentation was clearly understood and that everyone is on the same page about what they need to do next. This is also the point in the meeting when you will have the chance to confirm potential follow-up meetings.
7. Follow up!
Your job is not done when you leave the virtual meeting room. Rocking your meeting also means putting in effort afterward to follow up with the person you spoke to. Particularly in B2B sales, this is something that should take place within 24 hours of your meeting. It can be something as simple as a note or an email. You will want to thank them for the conversation, provide a short recap of what was discussed, and book follow-up meetings if needed.
Be careful not to make the email or note too casual and with a lack of focus. Consider the client’s needs and be as concise as possible.
Pro Tip: Connect on LinkedIn as well! This will allow you to further strengthen your professional relationship.