Feb 18, 2021, Tom Wengler, Founder and Managing Partner, Convergence –
Get Clear on the Why of your BRE Meeting.
To help a company grow or expand, you’ll need to get to know the business and a conversation is your starting point. Seek first to understand and look for opportunities to help along the way. Help is the key word – Be Helpful.
In order to help a local company, you’ll have to meet with busy, key executives. Ask yourself, “why would this executive want to meet with me”?
Too many BRE meetings are focused on the Economic Development Department’s desire to collect data for their own purposes. How does collecting “their business data” benefit the executive or the company?
Remember, everything you ask of an individual must provide value to the person and or to their business.
A good idea is to make a list of services that you can offer any business. Collect stories about who you’ve helped, how you helped, and the outcomes. This is gold. This exercise will give you your Why.
When asking for a meeting it is best to give your prospect several options or ways in which you might help. All too often the skill in asking for a meeting is lacking. Busy executives don’t have time to waste and they want to know what they’re going to get in return for giving you some of their time.
Make It Easy
If you’ve ever gone back and forth with someone about meeting times date, then you know how challenging it is to coordinate schedules. No one has time for more email or multiple phone calls in order to book a meeting with you.
So… make it easy.
These solutions allow you to email someone a request to meet coupled with a meeting link that allows the recipient to see the times and dates when you are open so they can easily make a choice and book either an online or an in person meeting with you. HubSpot integrates with zoom so a calendar invite with a zoom meeting link will automatically be sent to the recipient in the meeting invite.
Whether you use outlook or Google Gmail, the meeting invitation is sent out accepted and put onto your calendar and the recipient’s calendar. EASY.
With HubSpot, you are able to ask questions in advance of the meeting which gives the recipient the opportunity to share some information with you about the things that they want to talk about. Now you can walk into the meeting confident and prepared. The answers to your questions land in the contact record in the HubSpot CRM.
Remember, for your BRE meetings, your job is to listen and ask intelligent. probing questions that further the conversation hopefully resulting not in just information that you capture, but in actionable data that you can utilize to help the business. The theme that should always be in your mind is how can I help?
- Make scheduling meetings EASY.
- Ask questions in advance (via a 1-3 question form) so you are prepared.
- Do your homework on the company. You should not have to ask “So, what do you do here?”
- Have an Agenda. Schedule for 25, 40 or 55 minutes.
- Share the Possible Meeting Outcomes.
- Give people reasons why they should want to meet with you.
- Never use the phrase BRE or Business Retention Meeting – only your team knows what that means.
- Be clear about your intentions.
- Be helpful.
- Remember – the meeting is about the individual and their business first – and your “need to capture their business data needs” is the last priority.
Sample E-mail template
Good Morning Tess,
Your company (start by talking about their company) is an important organization in our community and we appreciate what do you for _______________ (city, county, state, etc.).
My job is to find ways to help local companies grow, expand and succeed. I help in a number of ways including…
- Introduction to talent (workforce)
- Training courses
- Business connections
- Legislative issues
Most recently, we helped another _____________ (type of company) with _______________ and they were able to ___________________.
We met for 55 minutes and I was able to spring into action. I’m wondering if you might like to meet via zoom or in person in order to see if we might be able to assist.
Here’s a link to my calendar so you can find a time and date that works with your schedule.
https://app.hubspot.com/meetings/tomw1 (FYI This works – test it out!)
PS If you know other local companies that I should meet with, I’m happy to follow your lead.
PS – here’s some information about some local companies we’ve worked with (link to your website or blog).