"I have 60 minutes before I am meeting with a potential client, what do I do?"
You get a call and have the opportunity to meet with a potential client. But you only have an hour before you meet. No time for exhaustive research. What information is most important to get before the meeting.?Here's a list of what you need to know to get through that first meeting with your new client.
Read through the company website. Check the press releases section for interesting developments. Read the Chairman's letter in the latest annual report, if the company is public. Review the Board of Directors and note the make up of the board and any who may be current clients of the firm.
Google the prospects’ name. You want to know what your prospect has been writing about, what professional associations she may be involved in. Maybe some personal interests will be revealed in your search. If you can find out and have time, Google the contact's bosses name and learn what you can about them.
Check for past relationships in your firm. If your firm has ever done work for that prospect, you'll want to know about the cases or transactions and how they went. If other attorneys were involved it would be helpful to speak to them.
Check for past cases related to the company. Learn what you can about the reason that they are asking to meet with you. Check for past cases and their track record in those cases. What value can you bring that they may not have received from their previous lawyer.
Google two or three of the company's biggest competitors. Get some basic understanding of their competitive field and who the biggest players are that they compete against.
The above information is the bare minimum that you should know about the company prior to meeting with them. It will tell you what you need to know to understand the basics of their business, their experience with your firm (if any) and the markets in which they operate.
Lastly, prepare the questions that you want to ask to fill in the information. Keep in mind that a request to meet with you is a strong buying signal. Approach the meeting as if you are starting your work with them. Because chances are, you will be. So be prepared.