Top 5 ways to get that all important first date
Cold calling a prospective new client is petrifying. It’s like phoning someone you hardly know and asking them out. Yet there are better ways to getting a ‘date’ with a prospect than resorting to that awful phone call. Here’s how to do it.
I still have nightmares about phoning girls and asking them out. Why? Because, if they said ‘no’ (which sadly was not infrequent), it was back to therapy for me!
We all fear rejection. And in business, it’s simply not easy to ask someone you don’t know to meet with you, when you both know you are (all bullshit aside) after but one thing- their money!
Yet to drive new revenue and indeed careers, being great at nailing that first critical meeting with prospects is a powerful asset.
Here are five of the best tips I know to get that first all important meeting with a prospect without always having to make that hand trembling phone call.
Top Five Tips To Getting That First Meeting
1. Get Introduced: the most powerful way to get access. Someone outside your firm who knows the prospect calls them: “Samantha- you’ll get a call from Chris. His team has delivered outstanding value for me over many years. They have an idea they feel will be of real value to you. When he calls, give him a 20 minute meeting. You won’t regret it.” Next day- Tring tring…“Hi, my name is Chris from Agency X… Oh, you will see me! But I haven’t even told you… What’s that? Tuesday at 8.30 am? Absolutely! We’ll be there. Thanks.” Clink.
2. Get Noticed: send them an intriguing package. Not an email. When a package lands on my desk, my heart beats faster. I excitedly poke it, shake it, then open it immediately. Once it was a CV in a box with an egg (raw, in its shell) stuck on the front. I never put anything on top of that CV and it sat very visible on my desk. When the candidate called, she got the meeting. Once I was sent half a $2 note (long time ago): “If you agree to meet, I’ll give you the other half of the note, and you will already have profited from our relationship.” Send them something memorable, intriguing, fun. Sounds trite? Maybe- but it works. It works to get a meeting with me, and it has absolutely worked to get my teams meetings with highly desirable prospects.
3. Go To Where They Will Be: find out what industry associations they are part of, where the events are, where they are making a speech. Turn up. Approach them at the break. “I came here today because I specifically wanted to meet you… ” They’ll be flattered. Impressed. And when you then ask for a meeting to share an idea which will solve their burning issue, of course they’ll say ‘yes.’ People love a bit of chutzpah, and saying ‘no’ to your face is not easy!
4. Get Them To A High Value Event: set up a ‘closed door’ exclusive forum with a big draw card speaker. In your invitation, mention the calibre of others who will attend. They’ll come, have a great time, be impressed, feel you deserve a favour in return, and when you ask for that meeting- YES!
5. PICK UP THE PHONE: and, yes, have courage. Sometimes, there is no better way than making that call. Plan what you will say. Have your messages ready. Ensure ‘what’s in it for them’ is clear, quickly. Take a deep breath. Dial that number. (And keep your sense of humour handy for the occasional ‘Thanks, but no thanks.’)