The Proven Power of That Second Prospect Meeting-Why You Need To Nail It

Getting that second prospect meeting is about strategy, tenacity, and persistence.

Too often agencies don’t do a good job of digging around during first meetings for opportunity areas or pain points that they can capitalize on.

And too often agencies either don’t have the talents, the time, or the desire to stay with prospects and nurture them down the line.

Not doing this is nearly a sure recipe for lost opportunities to win new business.

We encourage our clients to go into initial meetings with good smart questions, listen to the prospect’s answers, and probe for issues or concerns they might have.

We also encourage clients to use examples of the work they’ve done for other clients to show the prospect how they’ve dealt with similar situations the prospect might be dealing with.

And we discourage our clients from just sharing the work in isolation, and instead, as they hear a prospect’s answers to the questions they’ve asked, suggest to the prospect that “we’ve dealt with something similar with one of our clients too” and use that as the entry point for sharing.

So instead of just telling the prospect how great the agency is, the prospect can see for themselves how smart our agency clients are based on the questions asked and the solutions they’ve delivered for other clients.

Yelling and telling and selling

We tell our agency clients to let the prospect “check the boxes” and conclude for themselves that their agency possesses the value they need, versus just “yelling and telling and selling” the prospect about their agency’s superiority.

They get that from every other agency out there.

The goal for any first meeting should be a second meeting where the agency can begin to paint the paths forward of where they can take a prospect’s business.

The Proven Power of That Second Prospect Meeting

Moving prospects to a second meeting not only will give agencies an opportunity to learn more about the prospect’s business but it will better cement a relationship and better an agency’s chance of closing business.

Back in Q3, 2020 I ran a correlation analysis looking at the # of 1st meetings and the # of 2nd meetings relative to the number of wins our clients achieved to see if there was any stronger connection between 1st meetings and wins versus 2nd meetings and wins.

While the importance of first and second meetings kind of rode side-by-side through most of 2019, it appears (maybe because of COVID or maybe just getting tougher out there), the number of second meetings set has become significantly more important in helping clients get more wins.

When agencies are considering our services, one of the first questions I typically ask is how they’ve handled new business in the past and are currently handling it.

One response I often get when an agency is considering a change, in regards to past performance: “we had someone internally but the prospect meetings didn’t go anywhere.”

If this describes your current new business program, you need to think about what that really means, because there are several, brief stages of analysis you should subject your current meetings to.

Obviously if you feel the meetings from your new business program, whoever is handling it-you, a new business director, a team, etc, “aren’t going anywhere”, a change needs to be made.

But that change can take a few different paths, and could be a simple tweak, or a sizeable change.

The first place to start, perhaps unsurprisingly, is asking,

Why you think prospect meetings are going nowhere

We shot an episode of our 3 Takeaways series (3 Ways To Break Through To Your Oversaturated Prospects) on how digitally saturated your prospects are today-how much more noise surrounds them than ever before.

Agency new business, and sales generally, has always been about getting your prospect’s attention in a meaningful way.

COVID has isolated many of your prospects, and while there are, in theory, less interruptions during the workday at home, it’s caused all of us to, arguably, work harder and longer.

And for those prospects with children, it adds another layer.

So-point being, your prospects are constantly surrounded by distractions, by noise (literally and figuratively). And it doesn’t go away after the first meeting or conversation – agencies often forget this.

A stat from one of our reports:

69% Of Agencies Say It’s Tougher To Break Through To Prospects.
There are many reasons for this, besides all the noise – agency positioning that doesn’t resonate, a lack of specialization, lack of consistency in the effort, and there’s more to the list.

But back to the noise: it’s not just your competition – it’s other companies and vendors vying for their business, their daily workload, their personal lives-most agencies don’t really think about the scope of all this noise and how much of it surrounds their prospects.

And don’t think just because it’s a referral that the noise goes away.

And so from this, another stat is apropos: