Creating relationships is a time consuming process, it is important to make sure that the ones you create are worth it. After you have taken the step of agreeing to meet in person, prepare for the meeting by setting an intention and goal for yourself. The long term goal is to get clients, but the short term goal is to build relationships.
Be clear about your purpose. Some connections may not be a good fit, and that is okay! It’s all about making sure you both are on the same page.
When preparing for a lunch or coffee date meeting, keeping these three things in mind will help guide you while finding out whether or not the relationship is worth continuing.
1. Is it a good fit?
Ask yourself, is this a good fit? Could this person be a potential client in the future or have valuable referrals? Ultimately, the goal is to gain clients. By establishing this relationship are you going to gain leads? If not, maybe you reconsider and use your energy elsewhere.
2. Focus on long term goals
Focus the conversation on what you want to accomplish in the next year rather than how many clients you need right now. Talking about the future will make the conversation more comfortable.
Most importantly, listen. It is easy to get caught up in your own agenda, so slow down and start listening. What are the other person’s goals and intentions, and how can you help each other?
Creating relationships may involve a series of dates; one meeting may not be enough. If you’ve established that the connection is worthwhile and could eventually lead to business, set the next date! Plan to meet again in another month and spend time in that relationship.