How to Crush Your First Sales Meeting as an SDR

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December 6, 2023

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Congrats! You’re a SDR that just landed a huge qualified lead for your AE. In fact, the Account Executive is so impressed that you have been invited to the closing table.

You know the turnover rate for your position is high—34% a year on average, and most people only last a few years. Do well in this meeting, and you could be on your way to an AE position of your own. No more endless days scrolling for outbound leads. The stakes are high.

So how can you prepare yourself to crush this first meeting?

1. Know the Company

Being prepared is an absolute no-brainer. You want to do your research on what the target company does, but also the area where your software can help. For example, if you’re selling an HR tool, you should know what the prospect company’s culture is like. Are they competitive or compassionate? Ping pong tables in the office, or company off-sites at Disney World?

Pick one or two nuggets to show that you’ve done your research and that you understand them. This is also crucial for identifying the specific problem your target company has and that your software solves. Nobody buys software just because. You want the client to believe you care about their company, their goals, and will work with them to figure out the solution.

2. Know the Person

Anything you can find in common with the person you’re meeting will help you start off on the right foot. If your sales meeting is over Zoom, our Warmly Zoom app will do the research for you automatically. One powerful thing you can do is open up the other person’s company org chart and figure out where the person is in the chain of command. If the person you’re meeting isn’t a decision maker, at the ready you’ll know who to ask for introductions to someone more senior. Instead of straight-up asking “Who is your boss?” you’ll be more successful—and look more professional— by asking, “Hey, do you know so-and-so? I was wondering if they might be a good person to talk to next.” Boom.

3. Make Yourself Known

Having shared reality is a powerful way to build relationships. When you find something in common with a new person, you start on a strong foundation on which to build a bond. Pre-meeting prep is a great way to find out things about the other person, but what if you also want them to know things about you?

A really great way to subtly share information about yourself is by using a Warmly Nametag. Add a few personal details in your bio to give you a few extra points to make a connection. Are you a NASCAR fan, or a competitive duck herder?

Make your Nametag even more powerful by combining it with your pre-meeting prep. If your prospect just posted a picture of their new puppy on Twitter, drop a line in your bio about how you can talk for hours about Terriers, or your weekly volunteering gig at the ASPCA.

Using your Nametag to display your name pronunciation is another crucial trick to starting off on the right foot. Connections are made deeper by being able to say somebody’s name aloud. Even if you think your name is common, it may not be in the region where your customer is calling from. Putting your own name also helps the other person feel more comfortable both in pronouncing your name, and sharing their own.

4. Make an Agenda

We recently released a feature for the Warmly Zoom App called Video Widgets—which are beautiful one-click tools that you can hover over your shoulder during Zoom meetings. One of our most popular Video Widgets is Meeting Agendas.

A common mistake that junior SDRs make is blindly asking questions they were told to ask in a meeting with the prospect. You come off as a robot instead of a person—the opposite of what you want for building rapport. Instead, you can use a meeting agenda to ask the questions for you.

Having a schedule to reference also allows you to let the conversation flow more naturally. You know having the agenda will keep things on track and pull the conversation back if you get too distracted. Crossing items off over your shoulder as you go also helps everyone in the meeting feel like you are collectively making progress and trending toward success.

5. Social Proof Yourself and Your Company

Social proof has been shown over and over to be a powerful driver of buyer behavior for everything from e-books to million dollar enterprise deals. If you know somebody who works (or worked!) at the prospect’s company, try asking that mutual friend to send the prospect a quick note of support for you. Even a, “I’ve worked with so-and-so before and they’re great. Enjoy the meeting,” can make the person you’re meeting feel extra confident in speaking with you. If you don’t have someone in common then how about social proof of your company? Consider adding an image in the Images & Gifs Video Widget with logos of companies you’ve sold to in the past.

6. Pre-Meeting Confirmation

Lots of software buyers might agree to a sales meeting, but either don’t show up or cancel last minute because the problem your software solves is not as urgent as other things on their plate.

People get busy, it happens. To protect your time, make sure you send the prospect a quick text or email before the call to say you look forward to speaking with them. Confirming that they’re still interested will save you time waiting for a no-show, but it can also lower the chance that you’ll be stood up!

Reaching out reaffirms the social obligation. The buyer agreed to this meeting and you, the salesperson, have blocked out this time to talk to them. If you want to make interactions even warmer, use an app like OneMob to record a quick (just 30 seconds!) video of yourself saying hi and reiterating some of the reasons they agreed to take your call.

7. Show Partnership

Another Warmly for Zoom feature you want to consider using is the Company Partnerships widget. It’s a super fast one-click step to hang the prospect company’s logo in the upper corner of your own Zoom window. Now every meeting you have will feel personalized to the prospect. It also shows that you’re on top of your game and well-prepped for the call.

8. Take Better Notes

Taking notes in Salesforce is clunky and almost impossible to do efficiently during a live meeting. You could take notes on your phone or desktop, but you’ll still have to deal with transferring those details to Salesforce after the call. Try a speedier note-taking tool Dooly or Scratchpad during calls to jot down details about the client you want to remember. Both of those apps will also automatically sync your notes to Salesforce, saving you time, headache, and an extra step.

9. Get Your Sh!t Together

While you’re installing the fancy notetaking apps, don’t sleep on the basics of making sure you have a good meeting. Make sure you’re taking the meeting in a quiet place, not a local coffee shop during its daily 2 o’clock rush. Test your wi-fi connection and make sure the lighting isn’t jarring. Invest in a quality microphone to make sure you’re heard clearly. Remember that your prospect is likely in back-to-back meetings with salespeople all day. The best way to stand out at the end of the day is to be different and blow people away with a strong first impression.