Every Meeting is a First Meeting

Five weeks ago, I highlighted Cy Young’s success as a pitcher as an example that you need to start more processes with more companies if you want to win more (Cy Young Article).  I would like to add one additional thought to that message: Every interaction, even with a current customer, is the start of a new process of discovery.

Every time you interact with a current or future customer, embrace the interaction with the curiosity of a first interaction. The goal to learn about them personally and professionally. Your next conversation is always a new opportunity to start your sales process from step one and learn about their always changing WIFM** (the phrase that is always top of mind for your contacts – What’s In It For Me).

How do you do this? John DiJulius gave a great TEDx Talk called “Meet as Strangers Leave as Friends” about discovering our customers’ Family, Occupation, Recreation and Dreams (FORD). The concepts he outlines are perfect for structuring your strategy to gather new information from your customers. The length of a partnership or how long you have known a customer personally doesn’t matter. The last four plus months affected every person’s FORD, and now is the time to dig in and find out how it’s changed.

Think about your three deepest relationships and reflect on what you know about their O (Occupation) and their D (Dreams). What are their goals and dreams, both personally and professionally? Even if you think you might know their O and D, it is worth revisiting during these unprecedented times.

When you approach every meeting with the curiosity of a first interaction and ask the questions to find out a customer’s FORD, and you will start to rack up wins like Cy Young.