[Photo by Jim Gray, me]
I’m not sure about you but for me writing stuff down like this blog post takes a lot of effort. I’m more of a offline person. I like real life conversations with people in person. Old school face to face. I have the privilege of a home office; owning my own company, etc.
My friends who know me well expect me to call. I’m also a phone guy. You might find this hard to believe, but I get sick of texting, emailing, etc. I just think we have become such a walled culture. But that’s opinion. I also think that in order to get work done, you need to turn off the distractions. But I also need the interaction of others. It’s fun or cool to act lone-rangerish , but it comes with a high price.
Enough of that…allow me to get to what brought you here…the headline. Here’s my sales pitch to a potential client:
“Now you know that I exist.”
I have always been highly relational in business. I’m also a bit of an introvert, so the hard sell is not interesting at all. That does not mean that I am not clear on what I do, how I do it, what the price is, etc. It’s good to be thorough. I learned a long time ago that if you are already good at what you do, you shouldn’t have to hard sell. You tell the story and allow the other person to get to know you and make a decision. My normal tactics are:
1- Establish contact: you might be introduced by a friend via email or meet at an event.
2-Research: Find out something about who the person is you are meeting with.
3-Print: Bring a piece of paper with something on it that they can take with them. It might even be a proposal.
4-Direct: Shake hands, look them directly in the eyes and greet them.
5-Listen: Ask questions and learn their story.
6-Story: Tell your tale. I have a lot of different stories from companies I have worked with and projects. You don’t have to tell your life-story. Keep it short. Go with your overall theme. Be conscious of time.
7-The End: Stay on schedule for the meeting. Ask for their business. Keep it simple “I’d love to explore how we could work together.”
8-Follow-up: Send them an email with ideas.
9-Release: I’ve learned to let some go and others require pursuing. Be smart and know when to let it go. This is the hardest step. Sometimes it’s easier to let it go and move on, and them other times you need to keep following-up.
I hope this helps you.