Coffee Meetings

It was the second year I had started Elite Leads when I realized the importance of sharing business cards with all the members of my business development organization.

I held my meetings Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Fridays were the best day to meet with members. So I asked each member to meet with me at a local coffee shop. Starting at 8 am on Friday morning I had a member come by and bring the business cards they had collected from networking events and prospecting.

Then at 9 am, the next person would show up and then another at 10 am and the next person was at 11 am.

By the time I left at noon, I would typically have an average of 80 business cards to follow up on the next week.

One of the great things about having business cards to follow up on and using a name that is familiar is that they are more receptive to the conversation. The ratio of closing a prospect who has been referred is better than 5 to 1. In other words, a referred prospect closes at about 1 in 3 compared to straight forward cold calls which are 1 in 20.

However, the numbers range from 1 in 5 meeting someone in person at a specific organization whereas it’s 1 in 40 when I meet someone at a chamber function.

When I broke down the numbers over an 18 year period, my overall number was consistently 1 in 8 until 2009 when it dropped to 1 in 12 and 2010 when it dropped again to 1 in 15.

Economics and economic perceptions change the numbers. But if you don’t track your numbers, you’ll never know what they are. Then you’ll never know what you have to do to improve your numbers.