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Do you have a lunch date this week?

Perhaps a new customer? New prospects? A new cooperation opportunity? And what do you do with that opportunity?

I had a date last week that missed the opportunity.

Do you want to win the World Cup in screw ups - take note of this:

1. Forget to plan before lunch - spontaneity is best.
2. Tell me how good you are – that's all I ever want to hear.
3. Stuff the customer full of praise – flatter, flatter and flatter to make it real embarrassing.
4. Talk a lot about the details, like numbers right down to the smallest building block.
5. Tell me more about how good you are.
6. Gaze around the room while you're talking to me
7. Tell your date that he/she often has been wrong.
8. Extend lunch time so you have time to talk to me properly. The more you talk, the better it is. Customers need to hear everything, everything, everything.
9. Try to obtain a decision before the coffee arrives.
10. Condemn everything around us. Muslims, parking attendants, local politicians, TV shows etc and expect the customer to share every single thought of yours.
11. Call the lunch date a few hours after lunch and ask if the customer has decided. If he/she asks about what, just answer – “what we were talking about, of course”!

Would you rather win the World Cup in succeeding as a lunch date and grab every opportunity that may arise during lunch - read on:

1. Be prepared by finding out things about the company and the person you meet – Google the information.
2. Study the company brochures and, if necessary, financial reports.
3. Prepare some conversation topics, open-ended questions – talk about recent things that happened in the industry or in the outside world.
4. Be clear about why you want to meet – play no tricks.
5. LISTEN more than you talk. Look actively for what makes your new client tick.
6. Ask questions where you try to find out what's really important to your customer, instead of talking about what you are good at (that should be obvious later on).
7. Prepare a plan for the next step so you can follow up any suggestions you've pitched. What is your most desirable next step with the person you meet? How will you get there?
8 Hold on to your argument rather than throw them at the customer right now. Your time will come.
9. Go home. Consider what the client has said and study his/her case. Find out where you can be really helpful. If you have listened and asked questions, you will be able to come up with a proposal that matches the customer perfectly.

Practice now – I certainly will.

About the author

Stefan Ekberg has worked in marketing for small business for 20 years and has written around 30 books on how small business owners can market themselves with limited resources. . In 2012 Stefan was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year in Stockholm.

230 000 prescribes to his free newsletter "The 5 minute marketer"
Every week some 230,000 prescribers gets his free newsletter about 5 minute marketing.

"The 5 minute marketer" - the book
You run a small business and you want to get ahead of the competition, but how can you give resources to marketing when you're short on time and the budget is tight? The solution is here! The 5-Minute Marketer is packed with 395 tried-and-tested ways to market your business in 5 minutes or less.