When you are meeting a new potential referral source, how do you show up? Frustrations occur during and after the meeting because we often feel like we are wasting our time. No referrals and no business have come your way since the meeting. Breakfast meetings and lunches can cut at your bottom line, especially if all you are doing is making “friends” instead of creating strategic partners.
How do you create a strategic partner? Lawyers With Purpose has a process, the Relationship Management System, that provides a step-by-step guide on how to conduct a meeting, how to get mutual commitments during the meeting and how to follow up after the meeting. But what is also important is what to do before the meeting so you really show up.
Even if you just showed up with your list of relationship questions to ask and your own presentation materials, you would be far ahead of the other professionals who just show up with their wallet holding barely enough money to pay for coffee. But what could you do differently to make the experience worthwhile for both you and your new prospective referral source?
Before each meeting, I research the person with whom I will be meeting. I go to the person’s website and print a page from the site. Why print a page? During the meeting when I am going through papers, the prospect will see the page and feel good that I did my homework and took an interest before the meeting. I also search Google, Facebook, and Linkedin to see what information they are sharing on social media. Doing this gives me insight into their personality and their technology and marketing acumen. Also, it may yield some insight as to family members and hobbies.
Just the other day I was meeting with a magistrate judge who administers a criminal diversion program for veterans. On the biography page of her website, she shared that she had recently run her first marathon. To bring value to her, I brought and gave her the book I co-authored, “Running Through Life’s Lesson.” I was able to tie in an interest held by both of us as well as suggest that the book would be a great resource for people in her diversion program. A few months back, I met with a financial advisor. On his website, I noticed that his primary client base is single women (recently divorced or widowed). Thus, I brought to the meeting information about an upcoming summit that also focuses on women, Live Your Legacy Summit with Emmy Award winner Aurea McGarry, and suggested he sponsor the event.
When I have done the research and really show up for the meeting, I am prepared to have a relaxed conversation instead of an inquisition. I can also bring immediate value to the relationship. Taking the extra 15 minutes to research your new referral source will be an extra 15 minutes another person will not spend, which will make you stand out. This should lead to a more enriched relationship that will lead to more clients.
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For more information about the Lawyers With Purpose Relationship Management System, please contact us at www.LawyersWithPurpose.com. Victoria L. Collier, Certified Elder Law Attorney, Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Co-Founder of Lawyers With Purpose, LLC, author of “47 Secret Veterans’ Benefits for Seniors – Benefits You Have Earned … but Don’t Know About” and co-author of “Running Through Life’s Lesson.”