“Watch this, Stefan.” John then picked up the phone and called a CEO of a Fortune 50 company, whom he did not know.
When the CEO’s administrator answered, John said, “I’ll be in Paris next week and about 5 minutes from your office. I’d be happy to stop by and speak to [the CEO] for about 15 minutes about an investment opportunity I think your company should know about.”
The administrator told John he would find out and call John back.
Fifteen minutes later the phone rang. “Yes, he is available to meet with you, John.”
John laughed at how easy it was for anyone to get appointments with almost anyone. Still smiling, John then said, “Stefan, I guess I’m going to Paris next week!”
John Kidde, a multi-billionaire and angel investor in one of my companies, had also become a mentor.
Here is one of the many strategies he shared:
Top 5 Ways to Make (Almost) Any Meeting Happen
1) I’ll be in your neighborhood—this works about 70% of the time. By letting “Fred Smith” know you are not going out of your way to see him, Fred most likely will respond: either to tell you that time/day doesn’t work (but then usually offer another time to visit), or to let you know that works for them. Either way, you are now in communication with Fred.
2) Who do you know…?—this works about 80+% of the time. If you want to get in front of Fred Smith, and don’t know him, you ask your contacts who might know him. You may be very, very surprised with the answers you get.
3) Who do you know who might know…?— this works about 40+% of the time. If #2 didn’t pan out, broaden your reach: who in your network might know someone who knows Fred Smith?
4) Who’s in their inner-circle?— this works about 70+% of the time. Who is their spouse, children, college roommates, co-workers, business partners, etc? Who do you know that might know one of these people?
5) Where do they hang out?—this works about 80+% of the time: attend their next public speaking event? Or, perhaps they love sailing? Or, do they go to the same community board meetings you do?
Tips on using these strategies to astounding success:
- Leverage LinkedIn. With over 200 million users in 200 countries/territories, you need to make LinkedIn your friend. Using the advanced search feature can give you incredible amounts of information on whom you are already linked with that knows “Fred Smith”, where he went to school, his past jobs, groups he is connected to, his hobbies, etc.
- Put yourself in their shoes. And understand their mindset. Remember, they most likely get hit up all the time. From there, determine your approach.
- Get clear on Why. What is the reason they would want to meet you? What is in it for them? From their perspective, not yours.
- Start by letting them know you want their advice. Avoid asking up front for something. If they are interested in giving more than advice they will certainly let you know.
- It is a relationship you are building. It usually takes time. Don’t start off with what you want from them. Let that come up naturally.
- Make it easy for them to say, “no”. Takes pressure off of them. They tend to drop their guard and just be honest with you.
- Be persistent. Don’t be put off from the first couple of rejections. If you feel what you have is perfect for them to know about, it might take time and dedication.
- Under-promise and over-deliver. Being reliable and consistent goes a long way.
- There are many, many leads out there. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket and think “Fred Smith” is the only one I can hang my hat on.
- Always, always, ALWAYS be authentic. Almost anyone can smell a lie or inauthenticity. If you think you’re slick, think again!
Try these tips and most likely in no time you, too, will be flying to Paris for that most amazing meeting!
Action Steps for the Week:
Who have you been trying to get in front of and have not been successful? What is the reason for meeting with her/him?
Why would they want to meet with you?
Remember: be authentic.
Then get into their head as much as you can. Do research on them.
Next, how will you get in front of them? Pick a strategy you would like to start with and go from there.
Most importantly, don’t think that person is the only game in town. Most likely they are not.