“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.”
When you are preparing for a client meeting, think about the 4 Rs: read, reach, raise, and ready, as shown in Figure 12.1.
Read everything that you can find on the company, the sector, and the people you are meeting with as well as the particular issue you might be asked to address. Understand the fundamentals of the client's sector. Does size matter? How is this company positioned? Think about an interesting and different angle to the client meeting.
Reach out to anyone who could provide insights about or contacts at the client. Develop a systematic process for initiating client coverage, including doing reconnaissance. Leverage the network within your firm, including senior people who can make relationship connections or provide insights about the client. Identify the key decision makers at the client, other external advisers to the client (e.g., lawyers, accountants, financial advisers, consultants), and important board relationships.
Raise your sights. This means taking some risk and trying to get the first meeting with the chief executive officer or the chief financial officer. In other professional services, it could be the general counsel or the ...