Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Scary Meetings

My friend, Yvonne Goodwin, asked a great question about one-to-one meetings recently.  Her puzzlement was about people who ask to meet with her and then proceed to "throw up" about what they are selling during the whole time. Her comment was, "If I ever do that to someone, I hope they will tell me right away!"

The real question is how to guard against that kind of "backed into the corner" setting.  So here goes:

1.  When someone you don't know well or at all asks to meet with you, it is quite alright to ask the reason for the meeting.  The inquiry might sound something like, "Can you tell me what you'd like to accomplish as a result of this meeting?"

2.  I have been so bold as to explain that it is very unlikely that I will become a customer, but that I am willing to meet to get to know each other better.  In other words I set the tone of the meeting.

3.  If I get caught in a situation where the person is either dragging out their sales materials or beginning a sales pitch, I will stop them and again reiterate that I am not a prospect, but that if we just get to know each other, that perhaps I'll be able to help in the future.

I think the most important fact to remember is that the people who violate these rules do so because they don't know better. Or even worse, sometimes they are trained by their company to stalk prospects.  You can help them to modify their approach which probably means you are helping to ensure their future success.

Any thought on this?

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