General guidelines on meetings
Using humor to get you started – or even give you a head-start 🙂 Business is serious but that does not mean you can not find something to laugh about together. Carefully consider your humor as it needs to be positive and not derogatory in any way, which is easier said than done.
There is also a fine distinction about when to compliment a prospect or to negative compliment a prospect. A negative compliment is designed to be positive while being negative at the same time. For example "I see your company has a nice building with lots of glass, it makes for a large carbon footprint." Then stop and wait for the reaction. Even if it is a negative response, like "That's not the case at all", then you are in a conversation of discovery about how they created a building like this and fixed the carbon footprint. Starting a conversation with a business relevance enables you to remain on target to then introduce your solution while avoiding small talk.
The basic rule is if you find the prospect is a nice person and does not have any barrier up to you then compliments are fine. The thing you will find is that parties on an equal footing do not see the other parties special abilities as anything but normal. For example if two millionaires are talking and one says I have a million dollars cash in the bank the other would say "So?". Whereas a less confident person may compliment them on having that much money in the bank. The better the prospect and the more in demand they are more you have to use negative compliments to them around your specific solution to create an opportunity to win the business.
Always go into a business meeting relaxed, with good humor, without a care in the world. You can do this by using a money generation technique. Essentially if you have no money or no sales then you can still have a positive attitude, by imagining how rich and powerful you will be in the future, as you know what you are doing and doing what you know will lead to success. Always be prepared and visualize the meeting and any problems you may have to face prior to the event. Have the answers ready in be prepared to be flexible and go with the flow as any meeting to be a meeting of the minds needs to be driven by both parties in the meeting.
- Puts a person at ease and lowers their guard
- By taking the meeting seriously but in a relaxed way, you do not come across as desperate and hard up where you have to succeed. You are creating an opportunity for your prospect to take up and build their success as well.
- By evoking a positive emotional response from your prospect as soon as you can you build a build a future scenario on the response that gives them a success as well if they work with you!
- Ensure you are introducing yourself and your company as a point of differentiation. This comes from knowing the best features of your competitors solutions and improving on them. It means being better and more specific about meaningful details than your competition.
- Entertain your prospect with meaningful stories about your offerings, the company and yourself, convey success, humor and confidence always positively and avoid "the good old days". Use negative compliments to make them respond to you. Stop the conversation to see if they reinitiate it.
- Look for positive indicators to close the meeting and move onto the next step. These indicators could be verbal, body language or facial. You are not there to waste each others time so when you get the indicators take the opportunity and go to the next step. Observe carefully and do not waste it when it comes.
- Close to the next level or if you do not get the indicators then take the hint and do business elsewhere.