Business is like dating they say.
First you have ‘I am lonely’ I need a partner, I need the intimate touch.
In Business this means you would like some customers and sales.
Then there is; ‘ooh they are cute’/ I’d like to do business with them
How to approach? What if I get burned? How do I cope with rejection?
It is the same emotions run through our veins with a business and a personal introduction.
One thing you don’t do in any situation is go straight for the kill!
You don’t on your first date start blathering about how you are so desperate to grope your dinner date! You would come across, desperate, needy and very creepy indeed. Most probably your date would not even come back from a polite toilet break and will spend the rest of her time avoiding you and telling her friends to steer clear too!
You don’t go to a Business event, and as soon as the guys shook your hand say:
“We sell printers, how many do you want?”
Then answer me this: ‘Why oh why’ do I get daily emails on LinkedIn just after I have approved an invite to connect with a stab in the dark sales pitch?
It really strikes me as very unprofessional. Yet it is commonplace.
You need a completely different and opposite approach:
How would you respond if I asked for your approval on LinkedIn then, I thanked you for your connection and told you I have a lead for your business? Nothing to do with me, I am helping you grow your business.
Would I stand out from all the other boring everyday ‘Hi I sell’, ‘do you ever want’, ‘contact me’ (Yawn) email intros?
Or how about just offering some great free advice on business to show you are a caring, sharing sort of business person, the same way you would pick up your date, open doors and buy flowers, or cook him a cake, or take his mother out.
Millions of people are married so they must have been successful at dating at some point, then why do most people fail miserably at getting to the first business base.
I have blogged before about how skillful marketing can actually do away with the sales department altogether, by creating demand for a product that people will actually put up with rudeness and apathy from you in order to buy whatever you sell.
I always said; I don’t want to deal with any financial advisor I meet at a networking event regardless of how charming he his, or well presented. My thought process is this:
Given a choice, and he has to answer truthfully, would he rather be with his kids, at a football game, with his wife in bed, anything else he enjoys, rather than networking, because regardless how gregarious some of us are, meeting new people, and a lot of new people in one night, is slightly out of one’s comfort zone.
Given a choice I’d rather be doing something else. So if a financial advisor is at a networking event, he’s looking for business, and well in my mind cannot be that successful, because if he knew so much about money, he would not be there.
The kind of financial advisor I want to meet is the person:
I have to swim 5 miles across shark infested waters to get to his 200 foot yacht, climb on board, fight his 200k bodyguard, then prostrate myself at his feet and beg him to advise me on money!
Point is; the Advisor I had to nearly die to see; created a brand where I needed to see him, not him needing to see me. This is what we call selling on the front foot. Create this kind of brand for yourself and you will never need to work hard trying to find new clients.
So the simple take away here is; do not for the love of all that is holy, start selling on your first hello regardless of whether you are dating, writing on LinkedIn, Facebook, business emails, or in person.
Did I really have to say it? Yes apparently I do!!
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