Archive for March 2011

Over the last couple of weeks, I seem to have been working mainly with folks in the financial sector. I’ve conducted workshops for accountants, given a social networking talk to my accountant’s clients and also spoken to a group of CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) MiPs (Members in Practice)

My talk to the CIMA group was about the importance of having a structure to every business meeting – especially if it might involve getting some additional work. All of the key stages to the meeting started with the letter “P” as an aide memoire and hence the use of the P words in the title to this post.

I segmented the kind of “new business” meetings into four basic types:

  • HUNTER – this is a meeting with someone interested in your services but has never used an Accountant before
  • POACHER – this is where the other person already has an accountant and might be interested in changing
  • FARMER – this is a meeting with an existing client where there might be the possibility of additional work or products to offer
  • TRADER – this is a meeting with someone who doesn’t use your services but may refer or introduce clients to you.

Perhaps you may see parallels with your own business in this segmentation of meeting type? We then worked through the generic structure and planning behind meetings and I left them with the homework of tailoring the structure to their own practice.

All to often I have been present in a coaching situation watching a client / consultant conversation which has had no structure. The conversation is not handled professionally and there is no one in control. This – from the client perspective – can be very off-putting and is seen as indicative of the relationship ahead : Unstructured and unprofessional. Not a very good position to be in.

At the talk one of the delegates, David Johnson, mind-mapped my presentation and send me a .pdf of his work. If you are interested you can download this file here. Thanks David for sharing this.

As always, comments and feedback greatly appreciated.