You know what they say about first impressions – you only have one chance to get it right. Whether you’re making a connection through an introduction or meeting someone through a cold lead, what are you doing to prepare foryour first meeting?
Here are the (4) four things you should do before meeting a prospect for the first time.
Visit Company Website
Use the information on the company website to develop a clear understanding of the business and be confident that there is a real opportunity to work with the person you are meeting.
- Company summary
- Products and/or services
- Clients (if available)
Evaluate LinkedIn Profile
Connect on LinkedIn and review his or her profile. We use LinkedIn as a tool to get connected with others, but how often do you review another’s profile before having a conversation?
- Experience (current and previous)
- Areas of professional development: projects, certifications, groups, and education
- Shared connections
This is helpful to understand his or her skills and areas of expertise. Shared connections show similarities across networks and add to the discussion during the first meeting. Moreover, the profile gives further insight to finding a mutually beneficially opportunity.
Review Online Presence
Today, there is a strong chance that the person you are meeting has some sort of online presence. Conduct a search on his or her name to see what you can find. Not only will he or she be impressed that you noticed their work, but it gives you some insight into their interests.
- Blog site
- News articles
Understand Decision Making Process
Are you meeting with the person who has decision-making power, or will he or she be presenting this information to another party? Where the prospects falls in the corporate structure will help you to align your expectations for the meeting. It should always be a priority to make the decision making process as easy as possible in order to most successful. Whether you are meeting with a decision maker or someone who is passing the information along to supervisor, anticipate their needs to prepare all necessary materials prior to the meeting.
- Sell sheets
- Company profile
- Your contact information
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