April 27, 2017
Do you ever get butterflies in your stomach before an important meeting?
You know, the kind of meeting that could result in a breakthrough sale for your business?
Like, somehow you got a meeting with a decision maker at your dream client and you start to feel the pangs of impostor syndrome?
When that little voice in your head just keeps whispering, “they’re out of your league... what were you thinking?”
Here’s a personal story:
Earlier this year, I repositioned my mobile consulting business to focus specifically on a particular vertical market: credit unions.
Tomorrow morning, I have a two hour onsite meeting at the headquarters of one of the largest credit unions in the nation.
Landing a gig with these folks could easily represent an inflection point in the relaunch of my mobile consulting business.
What am I going to say in the meeting? I have no idea.
How can I impress them? Also no idea.
What should I pitch? No clue.
I should be panicking, right?
The reality is that I don’t even have butterflies.
The reason that I’m not nervous is that I don’t have to say much of anything.
I’m going there to have a Why Conversation.
My main job is to ask questions and get answers.
I need to find out:
- Why they want to do this project.
- Why they want to do it right now.
- Why they are considering hiring someone expensive like me.
- What their desired outcome is.
- How they will measure the success of the project.
- What it will mean for the organization if the project is a huge success.
(Note the glaring lack of questions about features or scope)
Naturally, they might have some questions for me. Here are some of the most likely, with my answers:
- If they ask me what my hourly rate is, I’ll say I don’t have one.
- If they ask me how I price my work, I’ll say I give fixed prices for projects so clients know their required investment before making a purchase decision.
- If they ask me what I plan to do, I’ll say I don’t know yet but will have a proposal to them with a range of options next week.
- If they ask me how much it’ll cost, I’ll say I don’t know yet but will include prices in the proposal (and ask, “Is there a range you need me to stay within?”)
- If they ask me how long it’ll take, I’ll say I don’t know yet but will include estimates of minimum durations with each option in the proposal.
- If they ask me if I have experience in their industry, I’ll say “not much, which is exactly why you need me.”
The bottom line is that I’m NOT going there to sell myself to them, I’m going there to find out if we’re a good fit.
If we are, then great!
If not, no amount of fast talking would result in a mutually beneficial relationship.
Hence, no butterflies.