Global, Advice
17 July 2013

Building Strong Relationships with Big Clients:

Where To Sit

When Morse asked the audience of startup co-founders where they would sit at the meeting, most of them answered as expected: to the right of the prospective client or across the table from them, but Morse wanted that extra mile from them. 
 
He suggested that you not sit at all and stand outside the door of the meeting room and wait for the prospective client to arrive. You wanna establish a relationship, or a rapport, with Mr. Big, from the beginning. Doing this gives you that minute of one on one time where you can begin to establish this relationship and set yourself apart from just another salesperson.
 

What To Say First

The first thing you should say, according to Morse, is thank you. Pretty standard stuff right? But whats even more important is what comes next. After politely thanking them for their time, Morse suggests that you discuss the D.O.O.T.M., the desired outcome of the meeting. This should should have been sent out in the pre-meeting email but it is always good to restate it right before you begin.
 
This outcome should always be the same: You want a business person running the evaluation. The business side of the company will be the one making the buying decisions and with that, your product or service wont be completely torn apart by engineers. With these first two items, you have established a relationship and an agenda within the first minute of the meeting.
 

How To Make Personal Connections

Making personal connections are a sure-fired way to gain someone's attention and favor. Showing interest in someone elses interest makes a huge impression but requires going that extra mile and putting in extra effort. You can find out what they care about professionally and talk to them about that. To do this, Morse advised to stay away from Facebook and Google. This information is public and simple to find. Mentioning someones interests that theyve posted in a public forum doesnt show that youve taken any extra effort.
 
Morse stood firmly in his belief that the best way to find out about someones true interests is to talk to the people that know them. Going this extra step and making these deep personal connections will show that you legitimately care and will set you miles apart
 

What To Do If They Start To Leave

In some situations, your potential client will be asked to leave the meeting. Morse described that this often means they have become uninterested in the meeting and actually have no more important business to attend to. Youre not going to let this amazing opportunity walk right out the door are you? So what do you do? Does she hate you if she left after 10 minutes? not necessarily.
 
Morse recommended that you walk out with them. This sets up the same effect that meeting them outside the door does, a one on one moment where you can have their full attention. The best thing to say now, according to Morse, is ask a neutral question like, how are we doing? or are we on track?. This neutral question allows for them to remain in control and gives you critical information about their thoughts. After they give their answer, Morse recommended to ask what do you want us to accomplish?, in order to set up a future relationship.
 

Where To Go For Lunch

Continuing on, Morse set up the scenario that by the time the meeting ended, it was just about time for lunch. You would like to invite your prospective client to lunch, but do you ask them to go out or do you eat in their offices cafeteria?
 
Morse recommended to go with the later. Eating lunch on their turf keeps them in control and makes them feel more comfortable by remaining in their own space. Eating on their turf also allows you to interact with other members of the company. During this time, youll have the time to meet and set up meetings with the leaders of other departments, saving time for your prospective client and making them happier. When introducing yourself to these other company leaders, Morse suggested saying, Ive always wanted to meet you, how can you go wrong with that?.
 
Your success will highly depend on your customers being with you for twenty years... I dont think people will buy with you unless they feel like they have a relationship with you. So take Ken Morses tips and rock your next meeting. With these in your back pocket, youll have the power close deals and find fantastic success with your startup. Thank you again to Ken Morse for his awesome lecture and advice.

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