If you’re in sales, you need to find potential clients, also referred to as prospects. More importantly, you need to close the deal (or make the sale).

How do you do this when your calendar is overbooked?

The most efficient way is to make your first meeting count. Make it a success.

Here are four key items to do in order to have a successful prospect meeting.

1- Identify what you want from the meeting. If what you sell takes several meetings to close a deal, then define what you want the outcome to be from this initial meeting. If what you sell is done at the first meeting, then your outcome should be making the sale.

2- Research the company you are visiting. Know the current successes and challenges for that company based on industry trends. Look at the company’s social media pages for current topics. If it’s a publicly-traded company listen to the latest analyst call.

3- Know who are meeting. Are you meeting one or more people? Are you meeting the decision maker? Research the person you are meeting by using LinkedIn. Also, look for the person’s bio page on the company website. If you find something in common, then you’ll make a quicker connection during the meeting. People do business with people they like. If the person served in the military, be sure to thank them for their service when you meet.

4- Practice answering anticipated questions. Record your responses to determine if you’re rambling or if you sound confident. It’s easy to ramble, but it can give your prospect information-overload. Practice being succinct and informative.

Having a successful prospect meeting is key to closing a deal. If the potential client called you for an appointment, make sure you listen more than you talk at the meeting. If you called the potential client to initiate a meeting, make sure you listen more than you talk. Preparing and listening at a prospect meeting will help you have a successful outcome.

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Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy, and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”