Before the days of common courtesy and reality, it was customary for two complete strangers to get hitched, falling victim to an arranged marriage. Couples would say their vows and tie the knot, usually against their will, before they even had the chance to date. Call me crazy, but how can you love someone you’ve never met? How can you build a trusting relationship on a solid foundation without a basic understanding of the person you are with? Yes, there are soul mates, and yes there are special circumstances sometimes where these unique arrangements work out, but nine times out of ten it was over before it even began. What does this have to do with business, you ask?
You have to get to know someone, first and foremost, in relationships and in business. People will only do business with people they can trust.
So often in business, especially in sales and marketing, individuals will take an approach that shoots them in the foot. It’s a technique that, in my opinion, rarely has any type of true success rate. Sure, there are times that one might get lucky, beating the odds, but if you think about it, really taking the time to study and analyze the game, you’ll quickly realize that the sales and marketing methods you may have been taught are actually detrimental to your cause.
Meet John. John is an entrepreneur. He just started his first business, and he takes “ignorance on fire” to a whole other level. He is so excited about his new business, and in his eyes the world is his oyster. He feels that he needs to tell every person about his new business, for in his eyes it is an opportunity that every living person in the world needs to hear about. He is on a mission, armed and ready to go out and prospect new business partners. Sound familiar? Just wait! John approaches his warm market and cold market, strangers, family, friends, neighbors, and with excitement hands them a business card; you can see him from a mile away. “You must join me in business”, he joyfully announces to every person that comes across his path.
Now, remember when I said that sometimes a person will get lucky in their prospecting techniques? In this example, John got lucky once or twice; his best friend and his Mom, mostly out of obligation. Guess what happened to the other fifty people that John approached?
John did not know that people only do business with others that they can trust. John should have asked his mentor, if he had one, or an industry veteran, and saved a handful of grief. John, at this point, is feeling upset; his “ignorance on fire”, total excitement, quickly turned into depression and regret when he failed over and over again. For most, unfortunately, this is where most people quit, give up, and turn their backs on their opportunity.
From years of personal past experiences, along with countless cases of documented research, success is measured largely in failures. People learn more by failing than succeeding. Because John is a fighter, he learns to have tough skin, finds a mentor, and tries again; this time, he takes a different approach. This time John learns to date before asking for a lifetime commitment in matrimony.
John sees a stranger, gets to know them, gains their trust, and starts to build a network of warm and cold market prospects; these individuals believe in John, his vision, and feel more comfortable in making life-changing decisions with him. John dated these individuals, and after weeding through the dating process, which we all know how gruesome that can be, he found some people worth asking for their hands in marriage, so to speak. These individuals respect him, trust him, and confidently follow him.
You might be asking, “how do you date a perfect stranger?” There are many ways to get to know someone. Sometimes, this takes a few days, months, hours, or even minutes if you do it properly. Now, without getting into too much detail on Attraction Marketing, I will give you a concept that will change your business, your marketing and sales techniques, and your overall success rate. This is the key to successful prospecting; ask, do not tell. If you ask the right questions, you can get the responses you are looking for. Your overall objective is for your prospect to ask you what you do, what your business is, and how they can learn more about it. You do not want to bombard them with your opportunity and products, no matter how amazing they are. Get to know the person you are dealing with; they will surely open up and tell you everything you seek to hear, as long as you listen and ask the right questions.
John took this information, and tried it out. He looked through his prospecting list, found a friend he went to high school with, but had not spoken to in ten years, and sent her a text message.
“Hey, it’s John. I have not seen you in ages! How are you?”
“I am doing great”, she replied.
“We should get coffee sometime and catch up.”
John’s friend agreed to have coffee. When they met up, he started conversations with her, just like anyone normally would. He asked questions about family, life, her current working situation, all the time waiting for the right opportunity to say something about what he does for a living. She went on to tell him about how she was looking for some type of an opportunity that would allow her to be at home with her new baby. This was John’s chance to say, “well, I might have something that could potentially help you out. It’s what I do, but honestly, it might not be for you. It’s been amazing for me, and several others in our organization, but it isn’t for everyone”. Normally, at this point, the person will ask you what you do. This is your chance to pique their interest. Notice, however, that John waited for her to ask him what he did, rather than him dumping and bombarding her with his opportunity or products. This is the key to marketing, in my opinion, and follows the basic principles of the Laws of Attraction.
Get to know your business partners and customers. A trusting relationship in business is a lasting relationship. By following these Rules and Laws of Attraction, you are certain to see a change in your prospecting, building a solid network that is sure to turn some heads. Plus, you will make some great friends along the way.