Would you like to grab a coffee some time to discuss how we might be able to help each other out?
How about we meet up and we can talk about how we might be able to support your business?
Could I schedule a short meeting with you where we can find out more about your business and see if some of our services might be valuable to you?
Would you be open to a short meeting to explore your business challenges and how our solutions could help?
No, no, no.
Maybe I'm getting grumpier in my old age, but I just don't want to meet people for sales meetings any more. Nor do I want to have a coffee with potential partners who might be able to work with me some indeterminate time down the line. Nor do I want to discuss who I know that might be helpful for your business and vice versa, thank you very much.
Now I might say yes to some of these out of politeness to someone I know or as a favour.
But I don't really want to have these meetings.
Maybe you're a bit like me too. I'm desperately short of time. And my business is doing very well – so I have no desperate issue to solve that will spur me to have a meeting with someone who could help.
I don't want to have these meetings, because to be frank, I get no immediate value from them.
Telling you about my business so you can craft a solution to a problem I don't think I have doesn't do it for me. Nor does a plesant coffee where we discuss how we might help each other some time in the future.
I need value now. Instant gratification if you will.
If I'm going to give up my most precious and scarce asset, my time, then nowadays I'm only going to do it if I can see immediate benefit for me.
It doesn't have to be money in my pocket right now. In fact, I'm even willing to pay to go to events where I learn something important. And I'll spend an hour or longer on a webinar if I think it's going to teach me something valuable.
But an “initial meeting” where we just talk about my business in the hope you'll be able to come up with something that will help me (for a price, of course). No way.
And that's why I ask: “what's your step #2?”
Step #1 is easy. Step #1 is that initial connection with a potential client or referrer. You go networking and meet people. You send them a letter. You ask to connect on Linkedin. You get a referral from a mutual acquaintance. They visit your website.
We know how to do Step #1.
But what do you do next? How do you really engage with them?
What seems like a few short years ago, people were much more willing to have these exploratory initial meetings. If a consultant sounds sensible on the phone and they've done good work for similar companies to mine, it was worth spending an hour with them to see if they had anything of value.
I don't have that hour today. I need to know I'm going to get something of value in the actual meeting.
So Step #2s that work to get me engaged with you today are things like:
- Inviting me to a seminar you're running on a topic of interest to me
- Offering to share some benchmarking information on what my competitors are doing in a 1-1 meeting
- Sending me a report or video with ideas I can immediatley apply to improve my business
- Inviting me to a webinar where you show me how to do something I'm struggling with right now
In other words, you need a Step #2 that actually adds value to me right away.
I suspect it's the same for your clients. You need a Step #2 that adds value to them right away.
‘cos if all you have as Step #2 is an exploratory or sales meeting – we're not going to show up.
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