First Date Jitters

Do you remember the feeling of a first date? Not the one where you are watching the time and just waiting for the first opportunity to give a reasonable excuse to leave. No, the kind of first date where you feel comfortable and there’s a building excitement in your belly, telling you that this could be it. When you can’t believe  it’s so easy and it all flows and you just know in your heart of hearts that you’ll see each other again.first date

I remember a few of those dates. I’ve been lucky. It’s a delicious memory that you can go back and savor again and again.

Have you ever had this kind of meeting in business?

Where you get a chance to meet with someone influential to talk about what you do – and it just flows. Where you know that you can support them and they say all the right things that show they LOVE what you do. There’s a real click.

I had a meeting like this recently. When the CEO started talking about his vision for the company and how he wanted them to understand the power of story – it sounded like he was reading my website blurbs by heart. I was thrilled, so much so I even said it to him – I couldn’t believe when it came out of my mouth – ‘you’re sweet-talking me’ – I think he even blushed (or maybe that was me!) but it was magic.

Here’s the thing though – that doesn’t happen so often. Usually you have to work hard on getting people to understand the value of what you do and to get on board with the concept of working with you.

Here are some tips to get you in the door and get them excited about you:

  1. Listen first – don’t jump into a explanation of what wonders you can do for them, first find out what they need.
  2. Give real examples of how you have worked with similar clients to get great results
  3. Don’t be afraid to correct their assumptions about you, your work or the results you can get.
  4. Give structure – what would working with you looks like and how would you get started
  5. Give outcomes – makes sure you are crystal clear about the transformation you offer your client
  6. Be real – tell the honest reason why you do this work – what do you care about, what do you take a stand for?
  7. Make sure you know what the next steps are – who’s court is the ball in (hint: try to get it in yours with an offer for follow up materials, information etc)

Don’t leave it up to chance – don’t assume that whatever you say will work – don’t wait for the perfect opportunity or client to show up. Use what you’ve got because you have more than enough to get anyone excited about what you do.

So how’s it going for you now? What always works?
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