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Dana Fortier

In Person Potential Client Meetings

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I got an email last week from a potential client that found me on LinkedIn. He told me he'd be in Grand Rapids, MI (2 hours away from me) for a meeting, and wondered if he could come over and meet with me. I said sure - thinking, 'He's going to drive 2 hours to meet with me? Yeah, right.' I also thought he'd want to meet at a coffee shop or restaurant. Nope, he was adamant that he wanted to come to my office. When I said I work out of my house, he said, "That's cool. I do, too, usually."

 

I never thought he'd actually show. I mean - drive 2 hours in a state you're unfamiliar with to meet with someone you may or may not form a relationship with? Yes, he did.

 

Since he's from southern California, and Michigan is in the beginning stages of its Fall Colors, he wanted to take a walk around my neighborhood with me to look at the colors of the leaves - he said he'd never seen so many colors on trees before.

 

Oooookaaaaaaay. :mellow:

 

So we walked. Our neighborhood is a 1/2 mile loop with cul de sacs and little streets coming off the loop. We did the loop twice while we chatted about his business, what he wants in a VA and how to delegate.

 

When we got back to my house, I sat down with him and my laptop (on the deck since he wanted to take some pictures of the trees) and I emailed him the documents I always give to clients after I've talked with him. After he left, I got to thinking: Why is it I seem to get strange and unusual client requests? I've met clients at bars, ice rinks, a funeral, the park. But this one - is a new one for me. :wacko:

 

Last night I wrote out a summary of what we talked about, and this morning I'm going to work on an analysis for him to send to him. He'll be on a plane most of the day today, so hopefully when he lands, he'll see my awesome response to him.

 

(And oh, my aching legs today! I usually do once around the loop twice a week!) :unsure:

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Dana

 

First off --Way to go and good luck!

 

While your initial consultation locations are, in a word, different --it shows how flexible a VA can be when scheduling a consultation. Today just put your feet up, while working on your analysis, and think that you may not have to take another walk until next week.

 

Let us know what happens.

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Ummm - please tell me you were not home, alone with him. My initial read on your post made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

 

My opinion, never, never, never let them come to your home. Unless of course you have a separate entry to your office (oh how I wish).

 

You know I wish you nothing but the best with this, but please be careful my friend!

 

Also, if he was so insistent on where to meet you, what else is he going to be insistent on. Don't give him too much ;-)

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Ummm - please tell me you were not home, alone with him. My initial read on your post made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

 

My opinion, never, never, never let them come to your home. Unless of course you have a separate entry to your office (oh how I wish).

 

You know I wish you nothing but the best with this, but please be careful my friend!

 

Also, if he was so insistent on where to meet you, what else is he going to be insistent on. Don't give him too much ;-)

 

 

Same uncomfortable feelings as Kristi expressed. Made the hair on my neck stand up--and just about everywhere else.

 

Keep us posted about this guy and what happens next . . . I do hope it's positive!!

 

Sounds like a "Twilight Zone" episode, but I guess you never know until all is said and done . . .

 

Whew.

 

Ramona

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Yes, Dana. I'm happy that everything turned out so well, but that took a lot of 'guts', and also made my hair raise up on my neck. I'm hoping you have 2 rottweilers and a sumo wrestler living with you. He seems very aggressive, so prepare yourself that he most likely will continue that behavior. Please keep us posted.

Patty P

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Ummm - please tell me you were not home, alone with him. My initial read on your post made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

 

My opinion, never, never, never let them come to your home. Unless of course you have a separate entry to your office (oh how I wish).

 

You know I wish you nothing but the best with this, but please be careful my friend!

 

Also, if he was so insistent on where to meet you, what else is he going to be insistent on. Don't give him too much ;-)

 

 

Same uncomfortable feelings as Kristi expressed. Made the hair on my neck stand up--and just about everywhere else.

 

Keep us posted about this guy and what happens next . . . I do hope it's positive!!

 

Sounds like a "Twilight Zone" episode, but I guess you never know until all is said and done . . .

 

Whew.

 

Ramona

Calm down everyone! The Usual Suspects were here - hence the walk around the neighborhood in the first place.

 

Second, I think because of what he does, he wanted to see where I did my work and how it worked. He loved the fact that I do everything on my laptop and that I could work at my desk, on the couch, on the deck, or at the library or coffee shop. I talked up the library here so much, he went by the library (which is new) and took a look around.

 

And I know the reason he's doing this - its because of what he does for his clients.

 

Yes, I've checked him out, too.

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I never meet at my office as that would mean I would have to clean it up ;)

 

Being a single mom for so many years in the past, I was super private with where my office headquarters was located and still to this day am.

 

I meet at a local coffee shop if need be with my laptop.


vainsiders.jpg

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I had the same feelings as several other ladies about letting him into your home office. I met my husband through a dating agency, and we have been married 24 years now, but some of my dates were not that great. The women were always told to meet with their date in a very public place. I guess if he was persistant enough, he could find out where I lived but I believe that one can never be too cautious. I thought that I could trust one of these aquantances and ended up in a very uncomfortable position. Thankfully when I told him to buzz off, he did. So, pelase be very careful.

 

Warmly

 

Carol

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Hey Tawnya

 

I am not sure where your office is located and if the client goes through the house at all, I've heard that ovens are great places to hide things. You just have to remember to clean all your treasures out of it before you turn it on again.

 

Warmly

 

Carol

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Good one Carol (hm-hm....not that I've used the oven before..... ;)

 

I'd feel the same as Tawnya - NOBODY should come into my house - I've got 3 small kids and the place looks like a tornado hit it AFTER I've cleaned up! Ho-hum!

 

Good luck - it sounds like he's pretty easy-going; hope he turns out to be your ideal client!

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Dana, what a great story. If the currency for getting a great client is a serving of fall leaves and some home grown hospitality, I say go for it. What a nice opportunity for the client to really get to know, like and trust you - and for you to to get to know the client too. I understand the need for caution, but there is a lot to be said for trust, too. Good luck!

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