You’ve done it, you’ve scored the face-to-face meeting with the business owner. You’ve done all your prep work, researched the business, and have a great marketing plan to pitch. But how do you get past the awkward small talk and get on with building a business relationship? Some people can start up conversations with strangers with ease. Others need a little help to get the ball rolling. If you find yourself struggling to start the business pitch, here are a few tips to consider:
- Take a deep breath, center yourself, and get comfortable in your skin. If you’re not comfortable, chances are they aren’t either.
- Take the initiative and make the first move. This lends you the appearance of confidence and shows initiative.
- Find common ground. Talk about hobbies you may have in common or kids. Look around the office to see where you can connect.
- It’s part of your prep, but make sure to have some go-to-questions ready. Ask the business owner what’s changed in the past year, whether it be about family or the business itself.
- Be patient. People like to talk about themselves but eventually they will ask you what you have for them. It’s OK to steer the conversation towards your selling points, but don’t force the issue. Always remain patient.
It can be difficult to start that first conversation with a business owner. But being observant can take you miles in the right direction. Most importantly, just be yourself. Don’t try to force anything and make sure you always have the client’s best interest at heart. Remember to relate to your client without being fake and soon you’ll be able to rock and roll!