One of the reasons your dream client says “no” to your request for a meeting is that they don’t want to have to make a decision. Meeting with you might force them to decide. That decision means change, and change means challenges.
Your meeting might force your dream client to address issues and challenges that have gone unaddressed for longer than they should have. The reason these things have gone unaddressed is because doing something about them would require change, and it would require getting internal agreement on those changes where consensus is necessary.
The “no” you hear may not be so much about meeting with you. That “no” might be in response to addressing the fact that your prospective client has been underinvesting in the results they need to produce. In their mind, agreeing to a meeting with you means dealing with an inadequate investment.
Your meeting might lead to a decision to change partners, and that might mean ending a long term relationship. If you haven’t fired a long-term partner, you might not recognize how difficult it is for the person who is ending the relationship. Commercial relationships aren’t as transactional as some would have you believe.
Switching costs include more than just the financial costs that accompany change. There are psychological, emotional, and relational costs your prospective clients will also incur. It’s easy to see how the contacts in your dream client company might struggle with a meeting that requires addressing difficult issues.
The first meeting sounds innocent enough, but with each next conversation, you move your dream client closer to having to make a decision they are not prepared to make.
You may be able to help your dream client make a change for the better, but first, you have to gain the commitment of time, a first meeting. If you want a “yes” to your meeting request, lowering the commitment level by sharing with your dream client that you aren’t going to ask them to make a decision makes it easier for them to agree to a meeting.