Landing Face-Time with a Tough Client

We have all experienced the stress and challenges that come with trying to schedule a face-to-face meeting with a tough client.  Arranging an appointment with a prospective client can be even harder.    After many unreturned calls, it might seem easier to just give up.  However, with the right tactics and persistence, your hard work will pay off.  Below are a few tips that will help you secure that all-important meeting.

  • Utilize your contacts. Research the person you are attempting to meet with ahead of time.  Utilize LinkedIn and other networking avenues to see if you have any mutual connections.  One of your colleagues may be able to put in a good word for you or make an introduction on your behalf.  Once you land the meeting, the mutual connection will also provide a great starting point to your conversation. 
  • Use different methods of communication.  Have you already placed your first cold-call to the client?  Track down the individual’s email address and follow up with an email.  Be sure to include a little background about your company and the synergies of working together.  Often times, people may bypass a phone call because they may find it easier to respond via email.
  • Handling gatekeepers.  If the individual you are trying to reach works for a large company, you will most likely face a gatekeeper – executive assistant, secretary or an associate – who will screen your call.  Take the time to explain why you are calling and why it is important to their boss.  Often times the gatekeeper will be the ones making the decision whether your message gets passed through.  Even consider asking if you could send them an email explaining the reason for the call and ask them to pass the email along to the individual with whom you are looking to speak.
  • What can you provide?  Once you secure a meeting, it is essential that you make the most of it.  Do your homework beforehand.  Gain knowledge of their business issues, challenges, competitors and goals.  Learn all you need to know about your client’s company and go into the meeting prepared to show how you can be a benefit to them.

Securing that initial meeting with tough clients will take persistence, but do not give up.  At times it may seem like you are continuously getting turned down.  It is important to remember that business is built on relationships.  It may take longer than expected to break through.  However, there will always be someone who can benefit from your service.