If you want to impress a buyer at your first meeting in the buyer’s office, think about these techniques:
• Google the firm and find out something about it’s recent history worth discussing.
• Google the person and find something in his or her recent history worth discussing.
• Find out who the top competitors are.
• Arrive early—never risk being late.
• Shake hands firmly when you introduce yourself.
• Wait to sit down until the buyer indicates you should do so and where.
• Never be trapped by “loaded” questions, such as, “What can you do for us?” (I don’t know, that’s what I’m here to determine with you.)
• Start with a questions requiring disclosure: “I’m always curious about motivations—what were your reasons for wanting to meet with me today?”
• Offer insights such as “there are three critical elements to achieve that” or “those concerns people express are largely based on two myths.”
• Make sure you have prepared a metaphor to use in your discussion. You don’t know the buyer’s business as well as the buyer, but the buyer doesn’t know your metaphor as well as you do. “This is what I call the lobster principal, and the need for periodic vulnerability.”
• Reframe the conversation consistent with your competencies and passions: “You’ve mentioned talent three times now, so I infer that attraction and retention of top talent is your priority.”
• Never stay longer than the time limit unless the buyer invites you to.
• Never leave without a definitive next step (action), time, and date.
• Always keep in mind that you’re a contributor trying to help, not a sales person trying to get business or make money.
• Don’t thank the buyer for the time or otherwise be obsequious. You are peers evaluating each other for a possible partnership.
© Alan Weiss 2014
Print This Post