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Let’s face it. You can do a fantastic job of prospecting, generating leads, attracting referrals and word-of-mouth, and basically getting lots of potential clients to find out about you and your services.

That will definitely get you some business.

But you can get a lot more business – and, I suspect, better clients – if you take a more active role in getting “prospect meetings”.

A prospect meeting is simply an opportunity to discuss a prospect’s needs and how your services may be able to help.

By meeting, I don’t necessarily mean a formal in-person presentation at the prospect’s office. In fact, most of my prospect meetings are much more casual and impromptu, and conducted over the phone.

One thing’s for sure…

The more prospects you can nudge into “meeting mode” – in other words, the more prospects you can get talking about their needs and how your services can help, the more business you will get.

It’s that simple.

So how do you nudge more prospects into meeting mode?

Over the years, I’ve developed many ways of accomplishing that. But the most effective and easiest-to-do technique is what I like to call the “Would it be helpful if…” technique.

Here’s how it works.

Say you’re a financial advisor specializing in succession planning for small businesses. You meet a new prospect at a local networking event. At some point in the conversation, she indicates a concern about transitioning her business to her children.

You say, “Would it be helpful if I quickly explained how our succession planning service works and the results you can expect?”

If she has any interest at all, she’ll probably say, “Yes, please do.” And when that happens – congratulations – you’re about to have a prospect meeting. (A short one, but it still counts!)

Here’s another scenario.

You’re a freelance e-newsletter writer following up with a prospect who has downloaded a free report from your website. During the call the prospect says, “We’ve thought about doing an e-newsletter, but we’re not sure if it will work for us.”

You say, “Would it be helpful if we scheduled a quick phone meeting to discuss that? I can share the pros and cons with you, and show you what’s working for firms similar to yours.”

Chances are, the prospect will say, “Yes, let’s do that.”

Why does this simple technique work so well? I suspect it works because it focuses on being helpful. It’s direct and honest. And it’s the logical next step in the conversation. After all, if a prospect indicates a need that your services can address, doesn’t it make sense to have a conversation about that?

So the next time you get an opportunity to do so, try the “Would it be helpful if…” technique. I bet you’ll get more prospect meetings if you do.