Before You Go To The Table, Get To Know The Other Players
Most of the advice you’ll see about preparing for a meeting with a prospective client includes learning as much as you can about the prospect and his/her needs and deciding what you want to get out of the meeting. And, while those things are critical, they won’t get you where you want to go.
If there are going to be other participants in the decision process — lawyer, accountant, other vendor, key staff member or associate — whether or not they’re going to be at the meeting, you should spend an equal amount of time learning about each of them and what THEY might want to get out of the meeting and from the deal itself.
Chances are, those people know the prospect better than you do, and they could have a lot of make-or-break influence on the decisions to be made by the prospect. They can help you or, if you don’t pass muster with each of them, do whatever it takes to make sure you don’t get the contract.
Spend some pre-meeting prep time finding out as much about these other players, and thinking about what they want and how what you’re offering the prospect will affect them!