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.
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