Why Should Ideal Prospects Take A Meeting With You? 5 Ways To Make Them Eagerly Want To Say YesMaybe you’ve experienced a scenario like this in
your business – I know I sure have :
There you are, having your last conversation at a networking event. As fortune would have it, (finally!) you’ve been speaking with someone who is your perfect prospect, one you’d kill for to have as a client (not literally- of course)
Luckily, you’ve researched how to follow up the right way (all spelled out in Chapter 13 of Network Like A Fox: A Targeted Approach To Building Successful Business Relationships In Person & Online) and you’ve proactively and promptly sent this perfect prospect what you’re certain will be a welcomed follow up lunch invitation.
Your objective, of course, is to get that next one-on-one meeting where you can start building the relationship and rapport.
So you’re shocked because your prospect does not respond to set it up.
Maybe he’s busy,
or on vacation, or
didn’t get your email.
Or maybe he wasn’t as thrilled about your conversation as you thought.
Maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t see what’s in it for him to spend 2 -3 hours, between travel time and eating time, getting to know you better.
At the end of the day, people are more apt to meet with people when they believe there is value to be had.
Business people will want to meet with someone when they think there is something in it for them.
There is a true story about Jerry Weintraub the famous Hollywood producer. Jerry Weintraub was a master at knowing how to get a decision maker to want to take a meeting with him.
Jerry managed some of the greatest music legends of all time: Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, John Denver. Later, he became a mega-movie producer.
But he didn’t start out a big shot. He started out a nobody with a big dream and bigger determination.
He was a huge Elvis Presley fan and wanted to represent him on a major concert tour. But he didn’t know Elvis, and he didn’t know Elvis’s personal manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
Jerry learned that the Colonel got up at 6 am every morning. Jerry started calling him at 8:30 AM every day, asking him to let him build an Elvis tour and promote it.
The Colonel kept hanging up on him, saying no. Jerry kept calling every day at 8:30 AM. He did this for a solid year.
Then one day, the Colonel called Jerry and asked him if he still wanted to produce a big tour for Elvis. Jerry of course said yes and met him in Las Vegas the next morning.
The Colonel gave him almost impossible conditions to make the deal, but Jerry met those conditions and eventually went on to produce the tour that relaunched Elvis’s career.
But the point of this story is not about Jerry’s unwavering persistence – although it could be.
It’s about why the Colonel finally took a meeting with Jerry – a complete nobody in the eyes of Colonel Tom Parker.
Colonel Parker met with Jerry Weintraub because he finally wanted what Jerry was offering.
And because Jerry knew exactly why The Colonel should meet with him. He was going to create the kind of concert tour that had never happened before. And Elvis wanted it because Jerry promised to give him what he wanted – filled seats.
In business, most people think about why they want to meet with potential customers and clients. They do not look at it from the reverse perspective. They do not do what Jerry did – get crystal clear about what someone will get out of meeting with them. They do not try on the other person’s glasses.
This is a huge error. But good news, it is correctable with a little thought, research, and preparation.
Sometimes, it is essential that we learn directly from those we want to meet with what will make them take a meeting with us.
Case in point:
I wanted to expand my business with a particular high level client I had worked with in the past. Our perspectives and work styles were a good fit. I made a plan to attend an event that I knew this client frequented each year.
Of course, we ran into each other and started chatting. It was amazing because one of the topics that he brought up was how much he was struggling figuring who he should meet with and who not because his time was being demanded by so many people.
I decided to inquire what criteria he was using to say yes.
The question stunned him for a moment. He said he wasn’t sure he was going about it the right way.
Then he asked me to contact his assistant to get a meeting on his calendar to discuss how I could help him.
This scenario confirmed for me that the issue of choosing who we should meet with is so often top of mind with most successful business people. If you want to increase your odds of getting more meetings with ideal decision makers, you had better be very clear about what you bring to their table, and it must be something they want, need or are highly interested in.
Want to up your game in making them want to say yes to meeting with you?
Here are five tips that will definitely improve your conversions:
- Be a solution provider. Be careful here. You must provide a solution for a problem or pain point your colleague perceives is important or pressing, not one you think they should solve.
- Let them know you “get” them. You really understanding their world will prompt them to want to spend valuable time with you.
- Timing. Just as with Jerry Weintraub, you may need to patiently keep asking to get together until the time is right for your colleague.
- Be a little mysterious. Don’t give all your tools and solutions away all at once. Let your colleague know how you are the right solution provider but that there’s more where that came from and it will happen at the meeting.
- Know your unique value proposition before you ask for the meeting. If you aren’t crystal clear why it’s in someones’ best interests to spend valuable time with you, they cannot be clear or motivated to do so either.
With time being everyone’s most precious resource, the time is now for you to get crystal clear about why someone should want to give some of that to you.
Got a tip of your own for making decision makers want to meet with you? Or a question? Or a situation you’re dealing with right now?
Post it below – would love to hear from you.