There is an art to attracting clients. You can utilize a simple framework for structuring client attraction conversations. My friend and colleague, Bill Whitley says: “If you know how to open, you don’t have to close.” Your Client Attraction Conversation takes place in the first few minutes of a meeting with a prospective client. The structure of the opening of an interview is You/Me/Us/We. In this blog we will cover the You/Me part of the attraction conversation (part 1) and then cover the Us/We in my next blog (part 2).
You — The first principle of engagement is to focus on the other person. You engage your prospective client by asking questions and listening. The more you know about them before you meet, the easier it is to ask questions that are very relevant and cause them to think about and expand upon subjects of real interest. A few years ago, I was introduced to the President of a large financial institution. His three children were the same age as mine. I learned that his oldest son was 21, living and working in Dublin, Ireland as a bartender. He left university after his second year to travel the world. I was born in Ireland. When we met, I said: “I understand that your son is living and working in Dublin.” He looked at me and smiled ruefully. “You know how to bring up painful subjects.” I also smiled and said: “That would not be your choice at this stage in his life.” We then entered into a dialogue about the choices our children make and, sometimes, how difficult that is for us as parents. In those few minutes, we forged a bond as two fathers. In the initial few minutes, the intent is to establish rapport. The definition of rapport includes to act in harmony, to act in accord. It is important to create rapport as a way of earning the right to proceed to your business agenda.
Me — The Me is your transition statement to describe your purpose in being here. “My purpose in being here is to earn the right to be your advisor. Most of our work is with people in your situation.”
In my next blog we cover the Us/We part of the Client Attraction Conversation. In its entirety the Client Attraction Conversation builds client intimacy and helps you earn the right to proceed to the next stage of the buying cycle.