When I teach I often discuss strategies for getting to know your prospects before you meet with them. Assuming you take these tips to heart and perform due diligence before the first meeting, how do you use the newfound knowledge of your prospect and his or her industry, company, and team to increase the likelihood of getting your project approved?
One of the many benefits of coming to the table with a healthy dose of background knowledge is that you can limit your questions to only the most important ones. In this day and age, people don’t even have the patience to wait two or three seconds for a website to load before they get frustrated and click on another webpage. So, you can’t afford to lose your prospect to unnecessary questions. People want vendors and service providers to come to them with answers, not questions. By finding the answers to as many relevant questions as possible before the meeting, you save your prospect the time and frustration of having to spoon-feed you the basics.
Moreover, don’t confuse the wisdom of asking questions during the meeting with the foolishness of not having done your research well in advance of the meeting. Never ask a question that could have (and should have!) been answered with a little research ahead of time.