April 16, 2023

#74 - Stuff for Sales Calls

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Be prepared. So… what does that mean? When it comes to those pesky customer meetings, you should have a check list of the critical tools and resources that can ensure an efficient, professional and successful meeting or presentation.

In this quick chat, Brendan and Bob talk about the things you bring with you on your next sales call. To learn more about B2B sales and get regular updates, sales tips, templates and other resources, sign up for Brendan's newsletter here. And to purchase Sales Craft: Proven Tips, Practices and Ideas to Advance your Sales Success, click here.


If you'd like to learn more about what we do, then please visit:


Hey Bob. Guess what? 

It's another episode of Let's Chat Sales. 

You've gotta be kidding me Brendan. 

Is it really?

Let's Chat Sales! 

Yes, it is. 

I have to go back and look and see how many, but we've got done 60 or 70 of these now.

I think we're close to 70. 

Yeah, I looked a couple weeks ago. 

Yeah, it's pretty cool. 

So today we're gonna talk about what to bring to a meeting.

Last week, 


the last episode we talked about what happens when a meeting goes bad. 

Maybe some of this is preventative to make sure the meeting doesn't go bad.

What sorts of things in what categories would you say you bring to a meeting? 

So, I think there are two categories that I see.

Internal things that you bring to the meeting and external things. 


So internal things are you're, you've got a positive attitude. 


You're smiling.

You've eaten lunch, your stomach's not growling. 

You prepared.

You're not mad at whoever it is. 

You've separated yourself from all the other aspects of your life. 

You're not gonna go in like, I've had a really bad day and now I gotta do a sales call.

Right. Right. 

You gotta make it feel like this is the most important thing and most exciting thing in your entire life.


Even it's an act.

Yep, yep. 

And then I think externally, I like to take a portfolio or a legal pad, something, and I like to take



Now, I will tell you I'm old school. 

I admit that right here, right now. 

But I don't like the person who takes notes on their phone.

Because I'm always thinking that they're taking notes on their phone, 

which is code for, they're texting and they don't care. 

Or their computer or whatever. 

Right, right. 


And do you write down everything? 

I don't think so.

I think you write down,

I used to be a journalist, so I know you can't write everything down. 

You're looking for the key stuff that you won't remember. 


And that's right. Sketch something down.

You come almost never lose eye contact. 

You look down, blah, blah, blah. 

Oh, that's a good point. 

You're back and present in the conversation, so to speak. 

Yeah, absolutely. 

And you can always stray to the bathroom or your car or your boss after the meeting.


And scribble down everything you remember.


So I find people over document. 


You look at their notes and it's like, really? 

Do, do. 

So they told you that their cars blew? 

Yep. Yep.

So why do you need to know that?


So then what else, what else would you bring to the meeting? 

Like, here's what I always have in my briefcase.

I always have a couple, I have a Sharpie.

I always keep a Sharpie. 

Okay, I like that. 

And then I have a couple dry erase, you know, markers. 

Me too. 

And I carry an eraser. 

You're just a boy scout then.

Hey, you would be shocked how many times I've said, 

I use my sleeve.

Can I erase this board?

And they go, we don't have an eraser.

You pull the eraser out and suddenly you look like that's a little bit too much.

I think that would argue that, that's over the top. 

Dry markers, having one or two of those in your bag, you can't believe how handy that is. 

Make sure you have some way to use an HDMI and to handle both HDMI and VGA both. 

You gotta be able to handle both because there's still some old school VGA. 

Probably helps to have like a memory stick. 

Some companies won't let you use it in their facility. 

You can't, but it's good to have. 

Having the ability to do a hotspot on your phone is useful, so know how to do that.

In some cases, when you can't get the inner web. 

I would say leave your slides at home, but then other people love their slides, so maybe you bring slides.


I think you bring an agenda, you know, you should have like a little agenda 

and you should be able to get through it in a minute or like, 

Hey, here's what we're trying to do today. 

Just wanna make sure. One of the things you know, do you know how much time you have? 

That sort of, what else do you bring?

What else? 

Can I give you a little marketing hint on the agenda?

Sure, sure. 

Make sure it's got your logo and your contact information. 

Sure, yep. 


Because it's a subtle way to just, oh, I didn't know your office was in Torrance, California. 

Yeah. Yeah. 

And so often I see that agenda is just a sheet of paper with four items on it.

Yep, yep. 

It doesn't cost you a lot to throw your logo at the top and get your contact information at the


What else goes on? 

Like to have business cards with me

I know that's old school, but I get others that will ask me, Hey, do you have a card? 

I have a friend that might wanna talk to you.

I always like to accommodate that request. 

I think the business cards are really helpful when you go to one of those restaurants 

and they have a bowl at the front, at the hosting station. 

I mean, I like business cards, but nobody uses them anymore.

And in fact, I have a thing about business cards is when you give a business card to somebody else,

they almost never contact you.

So you, it's much better off if you get the business card 

and then you contact them, Hey, and they don't carry him. 

People don't carry 'em. 

So what do you do instead? 

That's the subject for another day. 

But I mean, business cards.

You're definitely old school. 

I love that.

I also sometimes will bring a sheet of paper.

It's like the key points if I'm doing a complicated presentation to someone.


In a group.


Just like almost an outline.

Yep, yep.

Like what I would give when I was teaching college courses as a summary for review. 


So it was just touch points for them, so that they could like, follow where they were and have the key points. 


I don't know if you've ever done that. 

This is kind of dorky stuff, but how about an extension cord? 

Do you have an extension cord? 

I've brought an extension cord several times. 

It's paid off handsomely.


What else?

Donuts. You bring donuts.

I love doing stuff like that. Bringing food 

or something. 

Oh, it sets a tone in a meeting when you bring something 

I was doing a thing a while ago where my buddy is a king of condiments.

He made these chili sauce, hot sauce bottles that had my logo and a little brand name on it. 

That's those out from time to time

When I fly it was a pain in the ass because it had,

You can't carry them on the, but

Do you carry copies of your book?

I do, I give out my book from time to time.

I think that's why 

I keep copies of my book and if I'm having a good meeting, 

you know, Hey, I mentioned this thing. 

If you wanna learn more, here's a copy of my book. 

Would you like me to inscribe it to you? 


That's a winner. 


People like that. I do that.

That's why I wrote it, right?

I didn't write it to get famous is basically a bucket list.

Right. And if you sign it, they'll never give it away. 

That's true. 


They won't trash it. 

They won't. 


What else? 

Anything else you'd add to this list in terms of things you bring?

I think, I have testimonials in my briefcase sometimes. 


Because people ask and they'll be like, well, has this worked for anyone else?

I'm like, it's funny you bring that up and I've got a laminated sheet of paper that's got like six testimonials front back.

I'm like, here's some of the things people said about what I do.


I don't, I just literally handed out and let them play with it. 

However they see fit. 

I tend not to bring much in the way of collateral, 

and I have a philosophy about that, and that is, I don't think people read it. 

And so if you give it to 'em, especially on paper, nobody wants to get paper anymore, 

so, well, 

That's why I laminate those testimonials 

because it kind of looks like 

Yeah, yeah

You're giving this back to me, so you better read it now.

You can't take this back to your office. 

Oh, you're good. 

Oh, you just let 'em see it and then you take it away?


Put out my briefcase.

Hey, while I'm talking, here's some testimonials. They look at it.

Oh, okay. 

And then in the meeting I'm like, are you finished with this? 

And they go, oh yeah. 

Oh, you're gonna take that back.

I'm like, yes, I am. 



All right. Interesting. 

Yeah. I don't like collateral. 

I find doesn't get read very often, and

so it doesn't make sense to print it and bring it unless there's some very specific thing. 



I don't do copies of presentation.

Like if it's a PowerPoint, I do not hand out copies for the room.




You can send that later, right?

You can send that to the later 

or ideally, never. 


It depends.

I mean, they always ask for, I get a lot of customers say, can you send me the slides? 

And then what I do is I typically will send the slides later

and it's a more complete version, we talked about this in previous episode.


The slides shouldn't have a lot of words on it, but the version that you send

should have some sort of explanation 

because the image in and of itself doesn't convey the full message that you presented during the meeting. 

So there's that. 

I think those are not a lot, basically not a lot of stuff.

A good attitude and preparation on the internal side. 


And the external side, a few key gadgets and tools that are likely to

stop you in your tracks if they don't exist when you get to the meeting.

You know? 

So I guess one other thing, Brendan, just as I know you're trying to close, 

but it occurs to me knowing who's in the room 


And knowing what their role is. 


That's part of the preparation. 


That's one of the discovery documents that I often. 

And there's a meeting document that I have on the website that you can get.

And so yeah, that sort of preparation is, and it's kinda a checklist of things to go over 

and what sorts of questions should you have ready. 

That's all part of that. 


I love that checklist.

It's really amazing.

I've used it. It's valuable. 

We think, beat this up. 

I think we have.

I would tell you that if you thought we didn't beat this up, 

but we provided you with some value, couple things you can do to help us out. 

You can share this with a friend or an enemy.

I don't care. 

Give it to anyone. 


You can rate us four or five stars. 

I'm a five star fan. 

Brendan's willing to accept four stars.

The other thing you can do is go to Brendan's website, which is Let's Chat Sales, right, Brendan? 

For the podcast. 


Go to the website. 

He's got a lot of great episodes we do, and you'll see other things like this that can be really

actionable and really quick and to the point.

And, almost every episode's under 10 minutes, right? 

Except this one, cuz you're going on and on about all the great stuff. 

Now I have to come up with a movie or a whatever.

Oh, that's right.

I'm sorry. 

You're right. 

The movie or book? 

Oh. Or some sort of multimedia experience. 

So, I have not mentioned stranger than fiction. 


I've never heard of it from you.

So, Stranger than Fiction is hard to find. 

So I don't know if you can get it streaming wise, so this may not be the best recommendation.

What is it? 

It's a movie.

It's a movie. 

It's Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson. Dustin Hoffman, 

You had me at Will Ferrell. 

Maggie Gillin Hall, but it's a serious movie. It's fun.

But he will, Ferrell plays a serious role and he's quite good. 

It's such a charming love story. 

And it's funny, it's hard to get, it's hard to find, but it's a really good movie.

And so if you can go out and find it, you may have to buy it on a CD for that matter

I don't know. 

Or maybe you can, I don't know. I don't know how you get it cause I'm trying to find it right now. 


But I just love that movie and, and it didn't get a lot of airplay, I don't think.

And it's, it's really good.

So how old was it? 

Oh, I guess probably 15, 10, 15 years. 

Oh, okay. 

Right, right.

Well, right there you have it, folks. 

Another great recommendation from Brendan.

I live by them.

This is literally, my social calendar is defined by what Brendan tells me I need to watch. 

Oh boy. All right. 

With that, we should do this again sometime.

Okay, Bob.

We should. 


Absolutely. I'm there. 

See you soon.

See ya.

That was another episode of Let's Chat Sales a quick one, of course. 

And I hope it was helpful. 

And if it was please like, and subscribe and more importantly, share it with your friends.

There should be something right here you could point to and click on and try that out.

It should be good.

It's probably good. 

Certainly short.

It's probably helpful. And thanks for listening or watching.