I recently received a referral from one of my office neighbors (see my last post on my “new mom” networking style). It had been awhile since I met with someone who wasn’t familiar with my work, so I had to some prep work to do.
I find meetings with new prospects very beneficial. Not only does it give you a chance to brush up on your presenting skills, but it also offers you the opportunity to review and assess your current work samples. For example, are there samples that should be added to your online portfolio—or entered into a competition?
It’s also a great time to create or modify your promotional materials. For example, in preparing for my meeting, I realized I needed to update the contact info on my leave-behind piece—and I was inspired to create something new.
What to do before your meeting:
- Research the client: I can’t emphasize how important this is. Peruse their website, Google them, drive by the office. Not only does it help generate meeting dialogue, but it also gives you insight into what to include in your portfolio (see next tip).
- Personalize your portfolio: Bring projects that relate to your prospect’s industry. However, if a project has won an award or was featured in a publication, it’s a good idea to bring it along too.
- Have business cards: Don’t forget to stock your bag or wallet with cards. I also keep a stash in my portfolio binder.
- Don’t forget a pen and notepad: I can attest to the fact that it happens.
- Bring a leave-behind: The goal is to make it useful so they will keep it and be reminded of you. It can be as simple as a postcard with a work sample/contact info. My leave-behind is a packet that includes a marketing tipsheet, greeting card sample and biz card.
So, you had a fantastic meeting with a prospect and they are interested in working with you. What to do next?
Tell me what else you do to prep for a prospect meeting and I'll tell you next time what I do after the meeting...