What To Do When You Can’t Get The Client Meeting You Want?


The other day a consultant shared with me a challenge they were having.

This consultant, we’ll call her Jenn, said she has been trying to meet with the CMO of a large financial company.

It’s important that she understands what his biggest challenge and priorities are? What are his goals?

But each time she tried to meet with the CMO, he shrugged her off and told her to get in touch in a few months or suggested that she speak to someone else.

Jenn knows that this CMO is her ideal buyer. He’ll be the one to write the check for her services. He’s the one she needs to meet.

But so far she isn’t having luck.

Jenn asked me what she should do?

This is quite a common challenge. Luckily it’s one that you can overcome.

Jenn needs to learn all she can about this CMO.

It’s important that she understands what his biggest challenge and priorities are? What are his goals?

Generally, these will be related to business. Sometimes, however, you can find an association or charity that the person is connected to and use that as your entry point.

The takeaway is here is to discover what matters most to your ideal client and then use that as your entry point to get your meeting with them.

The idea is to figure out what they really care about.

What will be close to their heart and constantly on their mind.

Once Jenn knows that about the CMO she can reach out to him again and tell him that “I know that your company is launching a new marketing initiative this fall and that it’s important that you get the best return possible. I’d be happy to share some case studies and ideas that I have from other financial companies I’ve worked with.”

Because she is able to mention information that addresses the big challenge or priority the CMO is having she is able to get his attention and interest, and then set the meeting.

The takeaway is here is to discover what matters most to your ideal client and then use that as your entry point to get your meeting with them.


  • Ask yourself, what matters most to your clients?
  • What are their biggest challenges and priorities?
  • Which 2-3 buyers do you want to meet with the most and how can you apply this lesson to getting a meeting with them?

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  • Marino Marketing

    That sounds like sensible advice but in reality it’s a bit of a chicken & egg situation. Without getting eyeball to eyeball, all she can do is make educated guesses

    • Marino – thanks for the comment. There’s a lot you can do without getting face to face. You can study the company, look at news releases, talk to people in other departments, check their social profiles, etc. All of this will give you an upper hand and more knowledge about your ideal buyer.

  • Kirk Russell

    Whether a consulting job, or even if you have an interest in working as an employee, in my experience every business wants to increase profits, even if they are at full capacity. So your challenge is to get them to ask you how you can do that for them. But if you contact a company asking for a meeting, maybe to determine their needs, etc, it will only suggest you’re inexperienced and unprepared. If for example, you call or email and suggest that you have worked with other businesses (in their industry, in similar service or manufacturing sectors, etc.) and using your services, they have realized an X% increase in profits. And the purpose of your call is to determine whether they are interested in using your services. Few will say no, and most will as how you did it. So, until they ask, ‘how?’ you’ve not described anything they want to buy, or in this case, to make time to meet with you. The standard put-off is to say he or she is very busy and suggest you could call back in a few months. The know most salespeople won’t, especially the inexperienced ones.

    • Great example Kirk and that positioning works well in my experience.

  • Lilster

    If the CMO refers you to one of his direct reports it could be that he has interest in your particular area of practice and is looking for his team to vet the consultancies. That meeting is a good place to get to the true issues so when you do get that meeting with the CMO, you are bringing solutions. Just because the CMO signs the check doesn’t mean the CMO owns the problem or the solution.

    • Lilster – Thanks for the comment. That is one scenario and can be a starting point. If you’re sure that you know who your ideal buyer really is, you’ll find it more productive and effective to learn all about them before making your calls and then go straight to them. Why try to open several doors if you can get the first (and best) one to open right away.

  • Virginia Nicols

    I think Michael’s suggestions about how to get that “inside information” are great, and the list can be even longer. When it’s a big contract I’m looking for, then I build a profile for each of my best prospects — add to it constantly using Google Alerts, LinkedIn connections, etc. Then, when the timing is right (i.e., a particular “need” surfaces) I have all the background I need. Of course, this takes time and patience. . .!

  • skipness

    mother’s milk! any real advice?

    • How about learning how to leave a meaningful comment that might add to the conversation? I’m guessing from yours that’s not what you had in mind.