I’ve recently met with several startups seeking to meet with large enterprises.

It can be frustrating when a potential client does not want to meet with you. Particularly if you strongly believe that your solution is designed to address their challenges.

In my experience the biggest rookie mistake is overselling the first meeting.

To get your first meeting with a potential client, consider the following approach:

  1. Raise a “topic” that you strongly believe is relevant to your prospect
  2. Briefly summarise how you have helped other clients deal with this problem
  3. Ask if you could catch up to have a conversation about these matters
  4. Suggest a couple of time options

This approach can be made in person, over the phone and in a one-page letter emailed to their executive assistant.At no time during this approach should you start outlining your solution in detail.

The first meeting is a time where you better understand their problems. The more they explain their challenges, the better you will be at defining a tailored solution.

The top 1% of sales people in the world, across all cultures will listen more than they talk.

Now the client is going to realise that your ultimate intention is to sell them something. However you cannot start selling until you have built a positive rapport and have demonstrated your competency and/or expertise.
If you start trying to sell the product before the first meeting – you will most likely fail.