In case you missed the last post: Is it easy for someone like me to find someone like you? When I say “someone like me,” I mean a potential client. When I say “someone like you,” I mean a practitioner who says they can do what you can do. Being easier to find will make you easier to hire. Make being easier to find one of your top goals.
On to this post: The problem with lunches is fewer and fewer people want to have them because more and more people want to protect their time. What are the best alternatives to doing lunch?
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Here is a dilemma we all face. We want to work with a current or prospective referral source. We feel the need to prime the pump. A meeting is a good idea, right? So let’s schedule lunch!
Let me ask, how do you feel when someone – who you know wants something from you – asks you to lunch? You can almost smell their pitch coming from a mile away, right? Well, that’s what people smell when YOU ask THEM to lunch.
And because you know there will be a pitch, you can hear the hesitation in your voice as you fumble for an excuse to put it off. Well, that’s how people hesitate when YOU ask THEM to lunch.
What has happened to lunch?!
Yes, face-to-face meetings like lunches can be effective pump primers. The problem is fewer and fewer people want to have them because more and more people want to protect their time! What are we supposed to do now?
Well, I listened to a recent webinar from two colleagues, Jay Harrington and Tom Nixon. They specialize in practice development for attorneys, and they have some alternatives to the lunch dilemma.
Jay and Tom suggest professionals like us first consider email/phone requests like these to prime the pump:
- Would you like to co-author an article or co-present a speech for our practice area?
- Do you want to collaborate on a study for our industry niche?
- Will you be a guest on my podcast?
In all three examples, the person you are asking can do it on their schedule … they don’t have to leave their office … and the end product – the article/speech/study/or podcast – builds your Authority AND THEIRS. Win-win!
I also liked the following email script from Jay and Tom. I adapted it to a practical example in our BV world:
Hi Ms. Business Owner. You mentioned that you had not updated your company’s buy-sell agreement in several years. I wrote the attached article that addresses some of the most common valuation problems I see in these things. I thought you might find it useful. Let me know if we need to follow up.
Now if you were trying to sell your buy-sell agreement valuation services, this email does the trick less obviously and less intrusively then asking the business owner to lunch.
So there you go – some ideas to fix the lunch dilemma. Hopefully, they are helpful.
What do YOU think? Have you seen a decline in the number of people wanting to do lunch with you? What are you doing about it?
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