Make Sure You are Centered Before Exploratory Meetings


Entrepreneurs can almost measure the status of the economy by the frequency of “offers” to explore “mutual referral opportunities”.  Business people who wouldn’t return your phone calls or ever consider sharing commissions/profits are now more open to cooperation. This side effect of recessions can be great news, but it pays to take the time to stop and think before you accept a series of exploratory meetings that risk expensive distraction.

Reviewing your answers to a few basic questions helps keep you centered. Where were you headed before they called you? Which target markets fit you best?  Which customer problems do your products/services solve? What is your brand promise that you will never compromise? Which large projects would you love to do if you just had more money?  What are your selection criteria for a joint venture partner when you take the initiative to reach out? With which complementary businesses would you like to be associated?

When we are centered, we can hear ideas within a context, ask more relevant questions, and keep exploratory meetings at the peer-to-peer level. Recently, a regional accounting firm approached my strategic planning firm.  We welcome those discussions because helping mid sized companies continue to grow is important to both firms. We refer some business to a few legal firms that serve only Fortune 100 corporations, but joint ventures or formal strategic alliances are very unlikely between us and those law firms.

I have also noticed that, when we are centered, a higher percentage of the exploratory meetings are with companies that are compatible with our strategic direction, regardless of who took the initiative to set up the meeting.

About Aldonna Ambler:
Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna Ambler built and grew a suite of companies to help midsized B2B companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Ambler has addressed over 2000 audiences and hosted a syndicated online talk show about growth strategies for 9 years. As a growth financing intermediary, Ambler raised over $1 Bil dollars for midsized companies. The winner of over 2 dozen prestigious national and statewide "entrepreneur of the year" awards, Ambler is available to speak about “profitable growth during any economy” and/or serve on the board of a growth-oriented privately-held company.

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Growth Strategy Tip


When we engaged her for the strategic planning sessions, we discovered an added benefit. She had both run her own businesses and worked with very large businesses so in addition to the facilitator function we hired her for she also provided very important Business Consulting services.

Robert Waller, Jr., CAE
President and Chief Executive Officer of Association Headquarters

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