After months of cold calling and sending emails to a prospect, you’ve finally landed a meeting with a potential client. Woohoo! You agree to meet at a coffee shop, and you arrive the day of to find tons of people camped out with their laptops, coffee in hand, not going anywhere anytime soon. There’s a seat in the corner with trash on the table and only one chair left. Your prospect is walking in, and only has 30 minutes to meet with you between meetings to hear your pitch. You order coffee and pray that someone leaves soon so you’re not forced to stand during this meeting.
Oh wait, a miracle has happened, a table has opened up. You snatch the table, put your belongings down, grab coffee and start to give your pitch to your prospect as quickly as you can because you only have 15 minutes left of their time by now. And to make matters worse, you’re having to shout in order to be heard over the amplified volume of the tables around you. Why are those tables so close? Why does it seem like everyone is yelling?
Stressed yet? This isn’t how you pictured starting your pitch right? Are you truly putting your best foot forward? Let’s change the scene.
The minute you landed a meeting with your prospect, you call over to your favorite business center and reserve a small conference room for an hour. The day of, you arrive and park in your reserved parking space. You walk into the center’s beautiful waiting area, and you’re greeted by a friendly, professional receptionist who shows you the conference room you’re meeting in. It’s clean, there’s warm coffee already waiting for you on the credenza, and you have a few minutes to review your notes one last time.
Your prospect arrives, parks in their reserved spot, meets that same receptionist who welcomes them and shows them to the conference room where you are already waiting. The 30 minute appointment begins, and you deliver your pitch in a private, quiet location where you have the full focus of your prospect. You shake hands, show your prospect out, and have 30 minutes to check emails on the center’s free wifi, make a few phone calls from the phone in the conference room, and get yourself organized before heading back out on the road. On your way out, you stop by the reception area again to chat with a receptionist who eagerly asks how the pitch went. You pay $40 for the use of the room and head to your next appointment.
Sure, that $40 for the conference room was probably $30 more than you would have spent on two coffees at the coffee shop. But what type of impression did you create to your prospect … knowing that you only make a first impression once. Likely, the impression you gave showed your preparedness as a potential vendor. You maximized your time with this prospect, and delivered a pitch with less stress, in an environment that was private and quiet. You showed your prospect that you value their time, and that while this conference room cost more than a coffee shop, their attention was worth it to you (in more ways than just financial). That’s a win in our book.
The next time you’re thinking about meeting someone for coffee at Starbucks, give us a shout. We promise, you’ll enjoy our meeting room experience so much more!