He wasted his time
The meeting lasted about 15 minutes before I cut him off to let him know that I really did not need what he had to offer. The main issue here as that we were so far from a fit that this person should never had scheduled this meeting with me and as a result, he wasted extremely valuable time on me.
How much time did he waste? He might have spent some time entering data about me and the meeting into his CRM, he spent time sending out meeting requests and reminders, he might have spent time preparing for the meeting, and then he spent 15 to 20 minutes meeting with me.
All of that adds up to extremely valuable time lost that he cannot get back. Time that he could have spent on trying to find qualified prospects.
What he should have done differently
Here are a few things he could have done differently:
Pre-qualified during the cold call
He really should not have scheduled the sales meeting with me and to identify that early on, he could have simply asked me just a few more pre-qualifying questions during the cold call.
Regarding what questions would have helped, he was clearly trying to sell the organizational features of his solution so he should have asked me just a couple of questions to qualify me as fitting with those.
How big is your organization?
Do you use Competitor A to communicate with other members of your organization?
How often does your organization use Competitor A to transfer files?
By just asking a couple of questions like that, the sales person would have known quickly that it would not be a good use of his time scheduling a sales meeting with me.
By also asking a few more pre-qualifying questions, he might also be able to tailor his demo to my needs and talk more specifically to what I need or how I do things.
Focused more on me during the first part of the meeting
Cold calls can be quick and sometimes you might not have time to get the key questions. If this happens, as it clearly did in this case, you can always spend the first part of the sales meeting asking the prospect questions to learn more about them and their current environment.
And even if you get all of your key pre-qualifying questions in during the cold call, you should still focus the first part of the meeting on the prospect to learn more about them. There will always be more that you can learn in terms of what is going on their side and this is a great way to spend the first part of the sales meeting.
Again, not only does that allow you to tailor your meeting, but it is also a very nice gesture as you are focusing more on them before you take their time to talk about you.