Ever Wonder What to do When the Lunch is Over?

April 14, 2008 at 3:39 pm | Posted in Networking, sales, Sales Training, small business | 3 Comments
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It seems simple enough. “Let’s do lunch and talk some business.” But without a plan of action on how to follow up after you’ve taken your last bite, you might end up with a prospect who falls off the grid.

 

A business lunch is a great business development tool, but it should be only one step in your sales process. Most clients are not going to be won over with one meal. Expect to be in it for the long haul. It may take months, if not years to cultivate and win a client.

 

Once you’ve had the opportunity to plant the seeds of a relationship with a business lunch, it’s crucial to nurture them to make them grow. Consider the following:

 

Stay in regular contact with your prospect by using a contact management system.

 

Find ways to stay on their radar that may be slightly “out of the box” such as sending invitations to unusual events (gallery openings, fundraisers, sporting events).

 

Demonstrate that you’re thinking of them by emailing articles and links that might be of interest.

 

Be a conduit to other people that might be of interest to your prospect. Facilitate introductions, so that you are viewed as a valuable resource.

 

Be patient and understand that persistent and intelligent outreach that is value-driven and not merely “touching base” will ultimately help you to convert a prospect into a client. 

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3 Comments »

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  1. Adrian, you know I’m a fan of yours, and I look at the advice you are giving and it makes sense. I do a lot of those things already. But would typically happens is that you are so busy during the days, weeks and months, it becomes really difficult to think of all your prospects, friends and clients in terms of individual needs. You can’t keep everyone top of mind at once. This is the part that I find difficult. I will meet someone that I really like but unless you are doing business together, they tend to fall off the radar. Sure you will get in touch with him/her every once in a while but it’s not the frequency that I feel generates a relationship – it’s only an acquaintance. I would be interested in hearing about ways to “operationalize” these concepts into a system that works whether you are having a busy day (or week or year) or not. That’s the real hurdle. Love ya!

  2. […] Ever Wonder What to do When the Lunch is Over? It seems simple enough. “Let’s do lunch and talk some business.” But without a plan of action on how […]

  3. Hey Bill. This is where categorizing and prioritizing your clients, prospects and contacts becomes critical because not everyone is created equal—at least in your database. And for some, a cyber touch that includes some valuable information, is all that is necessary….and you can surely shoot out a bunch of those in record time. Also, put contacts together for a meal, drinks or mini networking gathering and you get to “touch” several people at one time. And make sure you do your required touch points everyday, even if it means leaving voice mails or emails at night so that in the morning you will be on their radar screen. Nope, it’s not easy but with our handy dandy pdas and other technology, it’s not as onerous as it may seem.
    (Don’t let ME fall off the grid:) )


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