Two weeks ago I wrote about how to get more meetings with past clients. Link here.
Today, I want to share my favorite strategy and most effective approach to get more meetings with another kind of prospective client.
Remember, first of all, that the key to getting more clients is to first get more meetings. If you get more meetings with prospective clients, you’ll turn some of them into paying clients. No meetings = no clients.
Yes, it’s wonderful if someone calls you out of the blue wanting to work with you! But even then, you need to meet with this person before you convert them into a paying client.
I’ve used two primary strategies to get meetings: Following up from talks and Introducing myself to those in my network. I’ll cover the first in this week’s article and the second in next week’s.
Following Up from a Talk
For close to 30 years, giving talks or webinars has been my primary method of attracting new clients. But I don’t just give a talk. I follow up with the people who have attended that talk.
Follow-up is pretty simple and quite easy, but most avoid doing it. Most think, “Well, if this person has a need for my services, they’ll be in touch with me.”
Well, maybe… if they really understand what you do and have an immediate need for your services.
But that’s not the way to think about it. If you think you might be able to help someone who’s attended a talk, it’s your job, not their job to follow up. If you want to connect, you need to be proactive, not passive.
Imagine that you’ve given a talk or webinar to a group of people who are interested in what you have to say. At the end, you collect their business cards or their email addresses. And you figure that at least some of those who attended might be good prospective clients.
Script for Getting Business Cards
To do this, you need a simple report that summarizes the ideas from your talk. You already have a presentation, so putting together a simple report should be easy.
“I’d like to send you this report after the call.” Hold up a copy of the report and say, “Who wants a copy?” Get a show of hands (this is essential!) “OK, great, now take out your business cards right now and hand them up to the stage and I’ll send you a copy of the report by email.”
If you are doing a webinar, you can do exactly the same thing, but at the end, say, “Just send me an email requesting the report when we finish up and I’ll shoot it out to you.”
So, the day after the talk/webinar you send them an email that goes something like this:
Here’s a copy of the report that you requested. Get it at this link.
Thanks for attending my talk on Increasing Retention During the Great Resignation. I hope you got some useful ideas.
I always like to follow up with those who attend my talks, answer any questions you might have, plus share a few ideas that weren’t covered in the talk.
Do you have a few minutes to talk in the next week or two? Please let me know and we’ll set up a time.
My experience is that a few (but never all) of these people will get back to you. And the ones who respond are always the best prospective clients. How do I know? Well, because they responded!
There’s one more thing you can do. And that’s to also follow-up by phone a few days later with essentially the same message. This will always help you increase your response.
The Purpose of this Meeting
Your first meeting is by phone or zoom. And the one and only purpose of that meeting is to see if they have an issue/challenge you can help them with. If they do, then your intention is to set up an in-depth meeting or Strategy Session after your first meeting.
This first meeting is NOT a sales call. You are not trying to persuade them to do business with you. In fact, you are not even going to talk about your services on this initial phone meeting. No kidding. That takes some pressure off, right?
What to Say in This First Meeting
Here’s a basic script of that meeting with some of the points you want to cover:
– Thank them for agreeing to meet with you.
– Ask them if they got some value from your presentation and what was most valuable to them.
– Ask them if they have any questions that weren’t answered in-depth in the presentation.
– Ask if they are having any current issues/challenges related to the topic of your presentation.
– If they are, ask if they are interested in finding a solution to those issues/challenges.
– If they are, say the following: “I’d like to suggest something. I offer a complimentary Strategy Session to explore your situation, challenges, and goals around this (name the issue). How does that sound to you?”
Now, as an aside, sometimes it’s this simple. But it really depends on who your prospect is, the size of the company, whether or not they are the decision-maker, etc. So, I can’t give you every possible scenario here, but want to underline a few important things:
You are not selling on this call. You are not talking about your services. You are asking questions and listening. And you want to make it as natural and conversational as possible. And your ultimate goal is to set up a more in-depth meeting (which I sometimes call a Strategy Session).
If you are already giving talks, then you can apply this strategy. I’ve done it successfully more times than I can remember to attract dozens and dozens of clients.
But if you’re not giving talks, there’s another approach:
Next, week, I’ll write about getting meetings by simply introducing yourself. And the following week I’ll talk about Strategy Session Meetings.