By Martin Bissett
I think most of us have been in that position where we get excited to have a new opportunity to go and see but then once we get to their offices, we start to wonder about what reception we’re going to get, how will the conversation flow, what do I want to get out of this meeting etc etc.
Recently a partner in one of the firms that I work with brought a concern to the table when we were having a one to one meeting. His concern was that he felt very uncomfortable meeting with a prospective client for the first time and the reason was, that he really didn’t understand how to start the conversation when he’d never met them before.
He wanted to avoid anything that might seem unnatural, artificial, forced, sales like, pushy, or anything of that nature so he asked me the question, “Martin, how do I start a conversation in a comfortable, natural way with somebody I’ve never met before in a professional setting?”
There is only so many things a potential client can say to us, so if we’re prepared for each one, then a conversation can be a natural start and I find a great question that can be employed (once the niceties and once the initial how do you do’s are out of the way) is to say. “Tell me, in running this business you’re obviously very, very busy and yet you’ve set aside time to meet with me today to discuss the future of the business from a financial and accounting perspective, yet we’ve never met before, so can I ask, what was it that made it important enough for you in your schedule to set aside time to meet with me?”
If understanding the process of an effective first meeting is something you’d like to create a template for in your own firm, it is covered in full here in our Business Development On a Budget Mentor Group and Coaching Club.
To Your Continued Success
Founder of the Upward Spiral Partnership
PS – If mastering the 11 steps to building, converting and refreshing a prospective client pipeline is a priority to you, they are available here in our Business Development On A Budget Coaching Club and Mentor Group along with all other pieces of the puzzle from proposal writing, to pricing, to professionally resolving client concerns and much more.