Speed Dating Your Way To More Clients

April 28, 2015

by Dan Solin

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New research on speed dating has uncovered how to determine a woman’s interest. Strangely enough, those findings also provide insight into why certain sales tactics with prospects are likely to fail.

I want to share an experience I had recently with one of my coaching clients. This client, an advisor, asked me to help him prepare for a meeting with an important prospect. The prospect was a well-known businessman who had a reputation for being demanding and difficult. When he set up the meeting, the prospect made it clear my client was one of a number of advisors he would be interviewing.

My client was understandably nervous and wanted to do everything possible to “land this big fish.” We prepared extensively for the initial meeting. We agreed that the indicator of success would be whether he was able to schedule a second appointment.

After the first meeting, my client told me it went extremely well. A second meeting was presently scheduled. My client said the purpose of the second meeting was to present a proposal indicating how he would invest the prospect’s money and provide information about his fees. I suggested another coaching session to prepare for this appointment. He declined, telling me that presenting a proposal was “in his wheelhouse.”

Several weeks later, my client called and told me he didn’t get the business. I asked him to take me through the second meeting, step by step. He told me he did precisely what the prospect asked him to do. He presented an “extensive” proposal in which he explained his investment philosophy, described the academic research supporting that philosophy and then laid out “in detail” how he would invest the prospect’s funds.

I asked him how long this presentation lasted. He told me it was “about an hour.” I asked him whether he used presentation aids. He said he used PowerPoint, and he gave the prospect a copy of the PowerPoint slides.

I asked him about the prospect’s demeanor while he was giving his presentation. He said he “seemed to be paying close attention.”

I felt bad for my client. After all, he did what most advisors would do at the second meeting.

But if my client had known about some recent data on speed dating, I believe it’s likely he would have captured the business.

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