Who is your dream meeting? Is it a big client? A mentor? A role model? Nearly everyone has that one person with whom they have wanted to spend quality time. Often people get in their own way of making that meeting happen. Perhaps they don't feel worthy or really won't know what to say.
I have been blessed to meet with many influential people including celebrities and billionaires. No doubt they are guarded, but certainly not isolated. Dream meetings are worth pursuing, even if your dream meeting is no one special to anyone else but you. Why wait? No benefit can come from a meeting that never happens. Try some of these techniques I use to make dream meetings a reality.
1. Do the research.
You don't need to creepily stalk those you are trying to meet, but a little information is very helpful. The more you know about this person, the sooner you can figure out a plan to get in touch. It's possible that after you do your homework you may find they can't bring you the value you expect, in which case move on to someone who brings true value to the encounter.
2. Articulate your need.
You need a worthy purpose to appeal to someone of worth. Work on stating your need in a compelling and empathetic manner. Why are you the one worthy of this person's time? If you can't clearly articulate that in a few sentences, you won't likely get the meeting.
3. Identify common ground.
Most of the meetings I have had with influential people came from common interests. Charities, schools, and social groups are excellent connectors for those who are affluent. Spend some time supporting the cause of choice for your person. Work hard enough to get noticed and you'll get the added benefit of doing some good while waiting for your encounter.
4. Be reasonably persistent.
Busy people are, simply put, busy. Time is their most valuable asset. Don't think that just because you aren't getting a response that they are uninterested. You may not have connected with the right message yet. Respect their time, but keep trying until you get a response.
5. Be strategically patient.
No one you haven't met is working off of your timetable. Consider his or her schedule and life activities. Give reasonable time for each approach to take hold and respect their business timetables. Don't be annoying with emails every week, space them out as a check in and you may just get surprised when the positive response arrives.
6. Create 3 points of credibility.
Important people are guarded. They are constantly getting requests for their attention. You have to find a way past the gatekeepers, and I find that they need to have 3 ways they may know of you in order to pay attention. It could be someone you know, a common experience, or a public accomplishment you have. Perhaps you belong to the same sorority, have been highlighted in Inc. Magazine, and worked at the same company at one time. Find the 3 and the meeting is thrice more likely to happen.
7. Offer genuine value.
No one of value today has the time to meet when there is no value to be had. Determine the real value you have to bring to this person, not just what you want to sell them. If you appear selfish at the beginning they will accurately brand you as selfish and not worthy of their time and attention. Give them a legitimate reason to want to push others aside. It may take you longer than you thought, but the meeting will become much more valuable for you both.