Creating Rapport With Prospective Clients
I met with a prospective client to present our proposal for marketing and public relations services, and at the end of the meeting, I asked when would be a good time to follow up. He said he would try to review the proposal with the President of the firm on Wednesday, as Tuesday he would be out of the office for a “hobby” day.
Instead of ending the meeting on a business note, I inquired about the President’s hobby. The prospective client explained that he is a collector of sorts and every Tuesday (hobby day), he meets with other collectors and they discuss market value for the collection. He went on to say that the President is very finance-oriented and rather than looking at the proposal from a marketing standpoint, he would be analyzing it from a financial perspective.
I then inquired about the prospective client’s weekend plans. He said it was his 10th anniversary and discussed his plans with his wife. All of this post-meeting discussion was valuable information to Berbay and allowed me to learn more about the prospective client.
While the person I met with was my point of contact, I realized the ultimate decision-maker would be the President. Too, the personal details about his weekend would allow me to tailor my follow up, rather than sending a generic email, such as “Have you had an opportunity to review our proposal?”
For example, I could open my follow up asking about the prospective client’s anniversary weekend and create rapport before launching directly into business talk. Also, if the proposal resulted in working together, I already know that the President would be unavailable most Tuesdays for marketing.
After the meeting, I made sure to enter all of this information into Berbay’s database so that everyone at our firm would be aware of this personal information, should we retain them as a client.
How are you getting to know prospective clients better?
– By Berbay Senior Account Manager Beth Miller