Before the Meeting:



Before any 1st appointment, send the prospect the following email as your agenda:


First Name,
Looking forward to our upcoming meeting. In terms of our agenda, I would like to propose the following:


    • Learn about you


    • Share about us


    • Kick around some ideas


    • Confirm that we “fit”


    • Determine next steps

Then, if available, also attach a list of questions that will act as the discovery guide.


The Structure of a 1st Appointment:


% of Time
work on career


Start off by being “social”
Review your agenda and get commitment
Invite them to add to your agenda 



Follow the acronym “SPINITH”

Situation: Use your preset discovery questions to understand
their current situation.
Problem: Use your preset discovery questions to understand their
current challenges. Dig deep. Keep asking “why” (in various ways). See
“Digging Deep” module.
Implication: Ask them to explain the magnitude of their need to
their business. What if they did nothing? So what?
Need: Ask them to define their view of their need. Have a
discussion and challenge them. Are they defining a need or a symptom of
a bigger problem? See “Digging Deep” module.
Ideas: Begin to kick around some ideas. You are NOT offering a
firm solution yet.
Timing: Ask them their timing. If they have a firm answer – great
but try to understand why. If not, be a consultant to help them
determine their timing by reverse engineering their timeline.
Hurdles: Probe about the hurdles that may stand in the way.
Budget? Board approval? Other priorities? Other options they have? What
else? This is a critical step that cannot be missed.








Closing Re-state their needs and your ideas. Get their
confirmation that you two organizations conceptually “fit”.
Establish and commit to definitive next actions
All will have a when (date/time), what and who





A few Tips:




Ask lots of “open” questions … those that do not trigger a “yes” or “no”answer
This meeting is about “them” … not YOU or us


Avoid pitching and don’t try to sell. A first appointment is often not pitch what you do.
Stick to your meeting agenda
Show empathy – show you understand what is truly happening in their business. The best way to do this is to repeat back to them what they said



Don’t fall into the trap of talking too much (about yourself, products and company)
Never leave a meeting without a next action no matter how simple it maybe;





© 2017 by Darren Rabie. Co-Founder and President of Focus America, Darren Rabie is also a passionate speaker, writer and jokester, having enjoyed speaking at over 350 events, trade shows, associations & CEO groups throughout North America…with topics including “How to Turn Leads into Sales”, “Manufacturing a Sale”, and “The Science of Selling”. Daren has helped hundreds of owner-operated B2B companies make the transition to a structured, scalable and accountable sales organization. For more information, visit or contact Darren directly via email at

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