Control the Entire Process. This includes the environment, the timing and the flow of the conversation and always design a process to allow them to get to know more about you and give you time to properly prepare to meet with them.
Also, you decide when and where the meeting takes place – whether it’s in person or over the phone.
Use Positioning Materials – Make sure that each potential client has a chance to get to know a little bit about you and the knowledge you have about the project in question. You will want them to know what kind of results you’ve created for past clients and how those results will benefit them.
Pre-Qualify Before the Call! When you are just starting out you don’t want to create too many obstacles for potential clients before they get to talk to you. But as your popularity grows and you get busy, it’s critical you only talk to people who are seriously interested and in a position to pay for your services.
Keep Track of Time and Stick to Schedule. Keep the meeting on topic and moving. Don’t allow too much off-topic ‘chit-chat’ and stick to the agreed time. This let’s your potential client know you are professional, serious, and respect yours and your prospect’s time.
Follow up. Regardless of the outcome of the meeting you must follow up! If you reached an agreement to move forward, send a brief outline of the objectives you and your new client agreed upon and what working with you will look like from this point on. If the prospect didn’t hire you, send a brief outline of objectives you discussed and how you could be of service to address those issues. If you set a follow up appointment, send a confirmation of time and the topic to be discussed next time.
Always – follow up, follow up, follow up.