I wanna tell you a story.
You know the area on your web page where in big bold letters it says CONTACT ME?
Someone contacted me.
Someone I didn’t know. They wanted to set up a face to face meeting with me. They’d heard about the work I was doing with fledgling entrepreneurs and wanted to discuss some coaching.
stalked them looked them up on Facebook and saw that a client of mine was a connection of hers. I do this with just about everyone I meet for the first time that has a social media presence which is just about everybody. It helps remove the awkward, who says what and who goes first and all that other nonsense
Lo and behold one of her connections was a client of mine. Someone I’d coached a few years earlier.
After we shook hands and exchanged business cards with her, I said.
I understand you and I have a mutual connection.
Her face lit up.
OMG!!! We were best friends growing up. We went to school together!
For the next ten minutes I listened to her talk about her friend. She told me they’d lost touch because she’d moved to another state for a few years.
I have a daughter-in-law that grew up in that state. It’s beautiful there!
About that time the alarm went off on her phone.
John, I have another appointment in five minutes. Are you busy on Friday? I’d like to talk to you more and set up another meeting.
When I left her office I sat in the parking lot for a few minutes opened up my phone and messaged my client. I wanted to let her know who I’d met. She’d lost touch as well.
Here is my take away and how it relates to the new normal
we some of us are creating.
Stow the sales pitch! (Even if you have to sit on your hands.) It’s about realtionships! Did you notice that nowhere in the narrative above did I share what her purpose was in reaching out to me. Right now it’s irrelevant. I could have sailed into her office, free gift guns blazing, social media links showering from the ceiling and all the testimonials about the lives careers and businesses I’ve saved from the scrap heap. I could have, but what would have been the point?
She’s heard it all before. So have you. It’s why she set the timer on her phone. If I’d have been the lounge lizard of sales she could have done a quick exit with her dignity intact.
He’s gonna come in here and try to sell me something I don’t even need! Why do I do these things? I’ll give him a bottle of water and send him on his way. He’s probably used to it.
We never did get around to why she reached out. She will check me out, mostly with her BFF, and if things resonate with her we’ll move on too the second meeting. If not…. If not I made a new connection that may be a potential referral partner down the line.
True story: I developed a relationship over a one year period with someone I’d met at a networking event. We had lunch or coffee once a month or so. I’d never use her services and she’d never use mine but……………… One evening she met with two people who were looking to start a new business and in their own words Didn’t have a clue what to do first! My networking buddy said I know someone that could help you.
That referral and that relationship netted me a new client who in turn down the road netted me two other clients. All because we got to know and most importantly trust each other.
Can I repeat that?
All because we got to know and most importantly trust each other.
The people who will pay you the value of your service are the people who get it. They are the people who resonate with your message.
A relationship that shouts “equality.” Back in the old days people hired folks like me because there was the belief we drank a magic elixir every morning and it allowed us to gaze into the past, present and future. We knew everything. You, the poor client knew nothing. I am here to save you.
Will that be cash check or charge?
Sure you don’t wanna cash in your 401K to have me lead you to the promised land?
You don’t? Have a nice day. (By the way: There’s something intrinsically wrong with you if my message doesn’t resonate with you. You REALLY do need me)
I am going to give you one final chance. I’ll even let you send me twelve equal payments.
The poo-ru’s said I am supposed to ask you three times to give in and pay me. It doesn’t matter that you’re not sure if you need me or not. Just pay me!
I’m just going to make one point and move on:
Who knows more about your life, your career or your business than you?
We, you and I, can see if we want to travel together on a portion of your journey. Can I help you as a coach or mentor? You steer the ship. I point out potential harbors of opportunity and a careful exhortation about the hidden ice bergs you may encounter.
We both walk away wiser.
That’s the new normal to me. (And I like it!)