Setting up meetings is the first step in the process to raising money. After all, no sale can happen without that meeting.
As an investment sales person, you already know that getting a meeting can feel like the hardest part of your day to day. And more than that, every meeting you set will run a little differently based on who you’re talking to.
But, that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare things in advance to ensure that every meeting goes as smoothly as possible.
Here at Dakota, we’ve had great success setting up meetings and coming out with a win. Our team is a third party marketer who has been setting meetings and has raised over $35B since 2006. Even though each meeting may be different, we’ve identified a few things you should do before every one. We are here to share our tips and tricks.
We’ll break this article into two sections: one that guides you through the four steps to take to prepare for a meeting, and one that guides you through the next three steps that come when confirming your meeting. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear vision on the items you need to check off your list in order to successfully set yourself up for a meeting.
How to prepare for an investment sales meeting
1. Know who you’re meeting with
To start off, you will want to know who you are meeting with. This may seem obvious, but it makes a world of difference. This can be as simple as going to the firm’s website and looking at a picture of them, conducting background research on their role, or reading their bio. By doing so, you may be able to form a connection — this can make the conversation feel more natural and personal, and not so much like a meeting you’re checking off your to-do list.
2. Review their website for their current thinking
There is a high probability the firm has articles published, video content uploaded, or white papers available on their website. This content presents how they are thinking about asset allocation, and gives great insight into their approach and how you might work together. Knowing more on the front end empowers you to make the meeting more relevant for them.
3. Prepare all meeting attendees in advance of the meeting
If you are bringing a portfolio manager, they should feel primed and prepped for the meeting. Make sure they have any questions, marketing materials, and background information in advance. If you will be referencing something during the meeting, it’s important that they have it ahead of time so that they can prepare effectively. This will also allow them to ask any relevant questions and sound prepared as the meeting starts.
4. Prepare the meeting agenda
The final preparation component we’ll touch on is preparing the agenda for the meeting. Keep in mind that not every meeting needs one. For example, a short, introductory meeting would not require an agenda. However, for a due diligence meeting where you are coordinating multiple people, or if there are specific things you want to cover, an agenda can be very useful to have and send ahead of time for your team to review and prepare.
How to effectively confirm your meeting
5. Confirm the meeting using a statement rather than a question
Confirmation is a key factor for investment sales people. Something to keep in mind is to confirm the meeting as a statement. By posing the confirmation as a question, “Does Thursday at 10 AM still work for you?” attendees are more likely to cancel or reschedule. On the other hand, saying, “I look forward to seeing you on Thursday at 10 AM” leaves less room for the person to cancel.
6. Confirm the address and office location
This cannot be stressed enough, as it would be embarrassing to show up at the wrong place, city, or even someone’s home instead of the local coffee joint.
7. Send a calendar invitation
This is another factor that is so simple, yet often overlooked and taken for granted. Be sure to include the correct time and location, as well as sending this to the correct invitee. The invitation will serve as a confirmation for the meeting in addition to being a helpful reminder for not only your team but your attendees as well.
Crushing your next investment sales meeting
Whether you are running your first meeting or about to host your hundredth, it comes down to properly preparing and confirming. Although these tasks seem simple, they are often overlooked and can be forgotten about. Start by doing your research so that you’re setting the meeting with the right people, confirm it, and set the meeting. You'll find that the meetings are more organized, more productive, and lead to stronger relationships in the long run.