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Thursday, October 12, 2006

OK, so there's always a point when I engage with a new client when we start to discuss fees. For "appointment setting", there are a few fee models on the market, ranging from the very bottom (setting up meetings for financial advisers or low-value B2B propositions) to the very top...CEO of a global company.

I pretty much focus on the upper-middle to top of this market.

Typically, my clients want to engage with senior budget holders and decision makers where their value proposition has the most currency. In larger companies that's not always an easy person to find. Often for consultancies I need to find a departmental or divisional head... or even a "Director" level interim who's heading up a programme. Titles can be a bit misleading...

[You can't go out and buy those names on a list, BTW.]

Anyway, we now get back to "how much" is the meeting worth?

Whilst there are methods of calculating the life-time value of your potential client, as used by many direct marketing guru's when establishing ROI and Client Acquisition methods, I find these don't really help.

In any case, the cost of getting the meeting will be far less than the cost of "pitching" for the business. For any company with a complex sale, and long bidding process this cost regularly runs into hundreds of thousands, GBP or USD, take your pick.

Therefore, when you factor in the cost of sale, it's more important to have a well qualified meeting than just any meeting.

Another way of establishing cost per meeting is to look at alternatives, such as trade shows, events, or even your own biz dev people cold-calling - OK, so we both know that'll never happen :-)

When I've sat down with clients before and looked at the costs, when you add up lost billable hours or sales "down-time", plus costs of the event etc, the cost per meeting always runs above 1000GBP.

I regularly deliver qualified meetings for less than half that amount, as well as supporting my clients with account research & intelligence that they can leverage for success.

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Posted by: David Regler @ 8:32 am |   | Links to this post  

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