There are two key components of business development that professionals often take too lightly.
As it is so often said, “people buy from people they like and trust.” Reaching that level with a prospective client is hard to do from behind the computer.
So why don’t more professionals who understand this concept, get out and do it? More importantly, why don’t they invest the time to ensure the meetings that they DO book have a better chance of being successful?
Is it laziness? Lack of know-how? A combination of both?
I believe it to be the latter, so let’s look at how one can increase the probability of a successful meeting.
Three Words: Preparation – Execution – Follow Up.
How often do you just wing it in meetings with prospective clients? Even with existing clients? We are all guilty of this to varying levels. This may work with people you already know well, but for those individuals you are still trying to get to know, advanced preparation before the meeting can make a huge difference. It is all about learning more about that person and making a stronger connection.
Here are a few things to consider doing:
The power of listening is an underrated skill. Too many people think that in order to win the business they need to talk and impress versus listen and learn. As the old saying goes, “You have two ears and one mouth. Use them proportionately.” So many potentially good meetings go south due to poor execution. Here are a few tips to consider.
It is amazing how many people fail to follow up with the person they met in a timely manner, if they follow up at all! Try to follow up within the next couple of days after the meeting. This is such an important part of the meeting. It demonstrates respect, interest, and how you would interact with the prospective client if they were going to hire you.
You should always be looking for reasons for follow up. It is an effective way to stay in touch and top of mind.
The moral of this article is simple – It is hard enough booking meetings with existing and prospective clients. When you do, be sure to maximize your time invested with them through proper preparation, execution and follow up.
I’m just scratching the surface on this topic and will provide tips on ways to increase your ability to book more meetings in my next article.
In the meantime, I would be curious to hear what works for you in ensuring successful business meetings.
Please share your thoughts in the comments field below!