Do you play the prospect dating game?
Right, I would like you to come with me on a journey! You will need to think back a bit though to a time when you were young, free and single! You are out with friends in a bar and looked over at the other side of the room and gone ‘wow’. You can picture the moment now I’m sure.
You are single, looking for love, out for a night with friends and then you suddenly see this vision of beauty and you are instantly attracted. They (male or female) look amazing, are just the type of person that you get attracted by, dress well and have a great smile. You share a few glances back and fore and the signs are good. They are smiling at you whilst you smile at them and you start to think ‘I really like them’.
My question to you is ‘What would you do then?’ Here are some of the different scenarios and ways to handle the situation that I think will go through your mind.
1.Some of you will think ‘I am just going to go over and introduce myself’
2. Some of you will think ‘I will keep trying to attract their attention to get some better signs that they like me and then go and speak to them’
3. Some of you will think ‘I wonder if any of my friends know their friends so that we can be introduced’
4. Some of you will think ‘I could ask the bartender to send over a drink to them and tell them it came from me in the hope that brings a reaction’
5. Some of you will think ‘I will leave it until later when I have plucked up more courage and then go and speak with them if they are still interested’
6. Some of you will think ‘I will walk over and say hello, say I have to go, that I thought they looked lovely and leave a note with my phone number on’
7. Some of you will think ‘I will keep smiling at them in the hope that they come over to me’
8. Some of you will think ‘I will smile back but will leave it at that. I am not good at approaching other people and engaging with them’
You will all know people who would have done each of the points on the list above but what would YOU have done? Be honest now!!
I bet that very few people would have answered point 1 and I believe most people would have opted for point 6, 7 or point 8!
Why so few for point 1? It’s just not in the natural human nature to be bold and brash and approach people in this way. Too much thought goes through our minds such as ‘what should I say’ or ‘what happens if I get rejected’ and these thoughts tend to make us sit back and wait for thing option rather than be bold and direct.
What generally happens then in the above scenario? We sit back, wait for things to happen rather than making it happen and then when we look back a few moments later we see someone else has gone in to talk to the person we liked and the opportunity is gone. We feel sad that we missed out and blame everyone else bar ourselves!
Whilst this scenario is of course made up, it does play out on a regular basis in our business lives. How often do we meet someone at an event or get an initial introduction where we feel ‘this could be something great’ but then fail to follow it up and take advantage of the opportunity? Whether its face to face through meetings or online through content that we share, too many small businesses that I speak to fail to seize the moment and don’t do enough to convert initial attraction into something more exciting! They initially engage through an email or a phone call (which are the business equivalent of the initial glances across the bar!) but then when it requires further engagement to make something happen they give up or adopt a point 7 approach which is to hope the person comes back to them!
You can’t rely on this approach if you want sustained business success. You don’t have to always go for the bold and brash approach like in Point 1 but you do need to have a plan for what you will do. Sometimes it’s about continuing to keep their interest up through great emails or valued content or sometimes it’s about seeing how they have reacted to different messages you have sent and then responding. It doesn’t always work to approach someone directly but to monitor their reaction to you and then adjust your approach based on that! For example, if in the bar analogy you had a sign from the person to come over and talk then you would do that wouldn’t you? In the same way, if a prospect clicks on a link in your email to say they want to buy from you then ensure that you take that action and follow up!
So if you want to ensure you find customers as you find love then you need to read the signs and follow up! Don’t let amazing opportunities pass you by just because you didn’t react or do what you should have done! Just like the person in the bar, if you don’t take the opportunity to approach them and start talking then someone else will!
Get this approach right with your prospects and you will get a lot of success and some amazing relationships!
If you need some help in knowing what to say, when to say it or implementation support to ensure you take advantages of potential opportunities then let us know! We are specialists here at InTouch in matching great businesses with great prospects and ensuring amazing relationships are built!