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one of the most effective lessons… …that I have learned in my career:


This has proven true, especially with a new prospect: You cannot have a meaningful relationship without rapport, chemistry and credibility!

The only way to build these three vital elements is to get the prospect talking first. It’s simple but not easy.

It is simple because here’s what you need to do: Ask them a question before the meeting begins that gets them talking relevantly about themselves.  “So, how did you get started in this business?” Or “Did you always think you would be working in this career path?”  I stress relevancy since a question about the weather will not reveal anything about the prospect’s true self.

It is not easy, because you will be tempted to jump right in and “get to your agenda.” If you don’t act quickly with your question, the prospect may set the tone with a statement like, “I only have 20 minutes so tell me why you are here?” NOTHING good ever follows this scenario. But when the prospect is sharing their career  or personal information, they are connecting with you on a meaningful level, thus building these three elements very early in your meeting.

If you practice this to the point of being prepared to ask the question as you are settling into the meeting, the prospect will allow you to control the meeting. I stress preparedness because the more prepared you are the less your nerves will get YOU talking first. And the bonus is that as they begin to speak, you get to relax, making you more effective throughout the meeting.

What question will you ask in your next prospect meeting?



Written by: John J. Corcoran

Principal at D’Alessandro, Inc.

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