Armand Farrokh
March 1, 2024

How To Set An Agenda In Sales With PPO

Everyone knows that a good discovery call starts with a tight agenda.

If you don’t set an agenda, your prospect starts pulling their hair out when you don’t jump into a demo right away or share a poo poo platter of your pricing. And that’s because you haven’t set clear expectations around how you plan to run the meeting.

But the problem is that many sellers overcomplicate agendas with longwinded acronyms and “typically these calls go one of two ways” nonsense of just explaining in simple damn terms: why are we here, how are we going to spend the time, and how will we know if it’s worth moving forward?

So let’s take a page from multiple-time guest, Doug Landis. It’s the most simple agenda formula: Purpose, Plan, and Outcome.

Screenshot 2024-02-29 at 10.34.44 AM

Let’s break it down.

#1 – Purpose

Everyone’s expecting your magical “pitch” upfront. But remember, the goal of a discovery call isn’t to sell them something. It’s often to figure out whether or not there’s a way your product or service can help them…

So set the expectation upfront that this call isn’t about you trying to cram your product down their throat, but to see if it’s even worth spending more time together:
“Before we dive in, here’s the agenda for today. The goal of this call is to get a sense of your priorities around brand awareness and demand gen and see if 30 Minutes to President’s Club can support them or not."

Your two goals with this talk track:

1. Get everyone on the same page and answer "why we're here".

2. Remind everyone what transpired before to get us here (not uncommon when you're 1+ call deep for the prospect to forget the context).

#2 – Plan

Walk through how you plan to run the call to achieve that purpose.

A lot of sellers forget that they clicked request a demo, then they wonder why prospects get upset when you ask them discovery questions instead of showing them your product.

(If you get pushed to demo early, it’s often because you missed this)

So set the expectation that you need to understand their business so you know what to show them toward the back half of the call.

“So I’d love to gain more clarity on how you’re approaching those things today and share a bit about where we can help, even if that means we do a 5-minute overview of how it all works toward the end of the call.”

It's your job to set expectations properly (down to highlighting how long you'll be spending on each section).

#3 – Outcome

Anchor to an outcome for the end of the call. In other words: what is the decision you are going to ask them to make at the end of the call?

From there, explicitly ask if there’s anything you missed:

“And by the end, I’d love to have a frank discussion around whether or not you felt we could be a fit. Is there anything else you wanted to get out of this one?”

If they want to add one or two things to the agenda, write it down and make sure you either set the expectation that certain things will be covered in another meeting (ie: price) or add those items to the docket for the call.

Create a talk track that works for you

Take 2 minutes (yes, right now) to write down the purpose, plan, and desired outcome for your sales meeting.

  • Purpose:
  • Plan:
  • Outcome:

Once you’re clear on the “why”, create your own script on how you’d set the sales agenda. Use our scripts as inspiration but tailor them for your use case.


Want to dive deeper? See the full interview with Doug Landis on leveling with your buyer and setting clear expectations using PPO: Doug Landis Ep. 110

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