I use this approach with all first acquaintances, including business, personal and social.

Key point: I always exchange business cards. There are several advantages to this, including: 1) I have the correct spelling of the person’s name; 2) I find out where the person works and what he or she does; and 3) I give them my name as a visual reminder of who I am.

The conversation: I explain to a new acquaintance that I have a newsletter that contains ideas that may interest him or her and that I will add the person’s name to my mailing list. The newsletter paves the way for my follow-up contact.

After my new acquaintance has received at least one, sometimes two, newsletters, I telephone him and say, “This is Phil McCarthey. We met at (name of place). There was an article in my recent newsletter that I believe was of particular interest to you.”

I briefly refer to the article at this point.

Going on, I say, “I’m going to be out your way at the end of next week. I would like to stop in for a few minutes to tell you a little more. Is 9:15 or 9:30 a.m. a good time for you?”

If the person says that it’s not a good time, I flip through my daily planner and give my friend a choice of days: “Would Friday be better than Thursday, or is the first part of the week better for you?” Following the person’s response, I try for that day and perhaps a different time. I then close by verifying the person’s address, the time and the date.

I find that it is advantageous to meet a new acquaintance in his office, on his terms. I run about an 80% success ratio in getting the first appointment with this approach.

Editor’s note: The preceding Million Dollar Sales Idea was originally published in the January 1992 issue of Life Insurance Selling.

For more Million Dollar Sales Ideas, click here.

For more about using newsletters, see:

Keep your name in front of clients

How to market like a top producer

7 proven ways to get referrals without asking