Let’s imagine that you have a meeting with a new client prospect in two weeks. You’ve been working to get this meeting for months.
What if you were offered an opportunity before the meeting to spend thirty minutes in your client’s office talking to one of their colleagues?
Would you take it? Would you see that as an opportunity to prepare for the important meeting?
We bet you would.
And when you got there, we bet you wouldn’t spend your thirty minutes reading a magazine.
The meeting starts the second you walk into the building
According to Dunne, there is a clear opportunity every time you arrive early for a meeting, or when waiting for a meeting to start. There’s often a receptionist, or in an open office other employees, who knows more about the company, the culture, and probably your client, than you do. Talk to them about their company. Inquire about the person with whom you’re meeting. Ask questions about the pictures on the walls. Turn your waiting room behavior into a habit. Make it a deliberate exploration process.
“This is being a waiting room Jedi,” shares Dunne.
Be deliberate with your questions
Knowing that you have this opportunity to gather information enables you to be deliberate. Dunne recommends having a list of questions to ask the receptionist, or other people in the building.
The formula goes like this. Pay attention, and ask questions about what you see and hear (or from your list) that you’re naturally curious about. Then, disclose something related about your self, not a long story, just a tidbit.
If you see photos of a bunch of company employees in climbing gear, you might mention your climb of Kilimanjaro. Your disclosure is an invitation for somebody else to connect to you. You don’t even have to do the work anymore to build a connection. Disclosure invites disclosure.
Sometimes what you learn in the waiting room can take your meeting to a new level.
Get more sales tips in the RingLead ebook, Sphere of Influence Selling: An Inside Sales Approach to Crushing Your Quota.