#194: The Power of “Yes, And….”

Recently, a coaching client asked me how to deal with a request to meet with a prospect.

Normally, I recommend qualifying prospects with a phone call before agreeing to a meeting.

But in this case, she had already qualified the prospect and sent them a couple of follow up emails.

So what should she do?

In this short podcast episode, I describe the “yes, and” response to these kinds of requests.

This is a powerful jiu-jitsu move. It will keep you from giving the impression that you’re willing to say yes to everything.

The notes that follow are a very basic, unedited summary of the show. There’s a lot more detail in the audio version. You can listen to the show using the audio player below. Or you can subscribe in iTunes to get this show delivered straight to the Podcasts app on your smart phone, tablet or iPod.

This is the response my client got to her warm email follow up:

Thanks for reaching out again. I think it would be worthwhile to have you come into our office and meet with a small group of people in marketing and corporate communication. We’d be interested in learning about your past and current work.

Scheduling is a bit challenging right now, given conference season and vacations. Here are a couple options: _______________.

She had already qualified the prospect. So that’s good.

But at the same time, they’re asking for a lot of her time. And she wants to make sure she’s getting the most out of this “investment.”

Here’s what I advised: When a prospects asks you for something (and you agree), you should also ask for something in return.

So rather than automatically saying, “Sure, when?” think about the request more critically. Because you don’t want to suggest that you’ll agree to anything.

So in this case, you might say something like this:

Yes, I’d love the opportunity to meet. How can we make this meeting as productive as possible? You mentioned that you’d want me to cover X. That sounds great. Can we also cover what possible content marketing needs you might have now or in the near future? I’d like to learn more about what you’re up to and if/where I might be able to make a meaningful contribution….

This “Yes, and…” approach is much better than an implied, “Sure, what other hoops can I jump through for you?”

You want to have some give-and-take in these kinds of scenarios. The prospect asks for a meeting to talk about X. Great, you can absolutely do that. But then ask, “Can we also talk about Y?”

This elevates your positioning … and sets the stage for getting the info you want during that meeting.

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