This is a simple strategy that exemplifies what Value-Based Marketing is all about.
When I discovered it and then implemented it, I more than doubled the number of meetings I was getting with potential clients. And my clients who've used it report similar success.
When I tell you what it is, it's going to sound obvious in hindsight. You might even dismiss it.
But the reality is that practically no one actually does it. So give it some thought, and really put it into practice.
Here's the thing...
When I get asked about how to get more meetings or calls with potential clients, what everyone is looking for is a tactic or technique.
Should I use Linkedin messages? Does cold calling still work? How can I make sure my emails get through to the decision-maker?
But in reality: the method you use to try to get the meeting is exponentially less important than how attractive the idea of having a meeting with you is to your potential client.
Let's look at a practical example to make that more concrete.
Let's say I offered to introduce you to a couple of my friends, both of whom are interested in having a meeting with you.
One is an insurance salesperson. A really nice guy. He'd like to meet with you because he thinks he can do you a great deal on your home insurance.
The other is an entrepreneur who's built his business from scratch to turning over a few million and is now able to hand over the reins to his team and relax while they run it for him. He'd like to meet with you to share some of the insights he's had growing his business that he thinks might benefit you.
Which one would you like to meet? Which potential meeting would you be excited about and looking forward to?
Of course, it's the entrepreneur.
Both have your interests at heart. Both are nice guys.
The difference is that you'll get value in the meeting with the entrepreneur.
With the insurance guy, you might get value downstream if he really can get you a better deal. But the meeting itself will be a sales call.
At best, he'll be pleasant, ask you some questions and propose some options. At worst he'll give you a canned sales pitch.
Do you think it would make much difference to whether you accepted a meeting with either of those guys if they used a Linkedin message, a cold call, a clever piece of direct mail, a referral, or they hired an aeroplane to skywrite their invitation?
I doubt it.
What's important is your perception of whether you'll get something valuable from the meeting itself.
And there's only one winner there.
No matter what tactic or technique he uses to ask for the meeting, the entrepreneur who offered to give you valuable advice in the meeting has by far the more attractive proposition.
He could mumble and stumble his way through the invitation. Get the words wrong. Send the message via a channel you rarely use.
And he's still much more likely to get a meeting with you than the insurance guy.
Now here's where it gets real...
When you're trying to get a meeting with a potential client, do you come off more like the insurance salesman or the generous entrepreneur in my example?
Be brutally honest with yourself.
Can your potential clients immediately see the value in having a meeting with you? Would they get excited and look forward to it?
Because if your offer is to meet with them to "get to know them" or to "find out their needs" then I'm afraid they'll see you firmly in the insurance salesperson camp.
Even something like a "free initial consultation" or a "strategy session" sounds like a sales meeting these days - and most clients tend to avoid them.
Instead, you need to offer clear and concrete value in that first meeting.
Perhaps that means offering to share the results of a recent study of best practices in their sector you've done.
Or case studies of leading companies you've worked with who've achieved what they're looking to do.
Or specific ideas you've developed based on analysing their unique situation.
It could be any one of a whole bunch of ways you gave give value in advance in a meeting.
The key is it has to be seen as hugely valuable to your potential client (not just you).
And they have to get that value in the meeting itself. Not just downstream after they've hired you.
Of course, if they do get value in the meeting and through that process you demonstrate your expertise and what it would be like to work with you, then your chances of getting hired go up exponentially.
But it starts with figuring out how you can make that initial meeting incredibly valuable for your potential client.
And not with what tactic you use to ask for the meeting.
Time invested in getting that right will pay off 100-fold.
But so few people actually do it.
Partly because just asking for a meeting is what everyone else does.
And partly because, frankly, it's hard work thinking about how to add value in a meeting and then doing your homework so you can pull it off.
Which means if you do it, not only will it make meeting with you attractive to potential clients. It'll make you stand out a mile.
I genuinely hope you found this strategy thought-provoking.
My goal is to give you ideas that really work to win clients - and that you won't hear anywhere else.
Sometimes the ideas won't be easy.
Not all of them will be right for you.
And sometimes it'll be hard work to implement them.
But they will make a big difference.
PS the principle we've just covered applies to pretty much all your marketing.
Whether you're looking to get someone to sign up for a webinar, come to a presentation, sign up to get your ebook, refer you to someone they know. Instead of worrying about whether to promote that webinar or ebook or presentation or whatever on Facebook, Linkedin, face to face, over the phone or whatever - focus instead on how you can make it hugely valuable to your potential clients.
Then it won't matter what method you use to ask them.
PPS Want to get a shortcut to implementing Value-Based Marketing in your business, and start getting more leads and clients right now?