It was with someone whose company might be a good partner for me.
He initially suggested a “phone meeting.”
I said I didn’t mind; I’d be happy to come to him.
So I drove there. And shook his hand. And sat in his office. And gave him a copy of my book when I left.
Virtual is great. But when it’s possible, and you want to make a strong connection, nothing beats face-to-face (even with my face).
I ordered them from Moo.com (they make great cards).
The return address on the package, in addition to the mailing address of Moo, included a name: Jackie Lesley.
I’ve never heard of her, but I looked her up. She is an actual person who actually works there!
A pretty simple way to humanize an otherwise mundane transaction.
The office manager keeps asking me about the rules I have in place:
“What’s the deadline for sending new names to be added to the list?”
“How much lead time do you need between when we sign off on final copy and when we publish?”
“What format do edits need to be in?”
My answer, whenever possible, is, “I don’t have rules; whatever works best for you.”
Could I establish more formal procedures? Sure. And if I were a bigger company, I’d have to.
But one of the advantages to being super-small is that you can usually be super-accommodating too.
(Clients really like that.)
You know, the kind where they interview some random person who has had an experience that supports the position of one of the candidates.
The anecdotes are offered as evidence.
Of course, they are nothing of the sort. One person’s experience (or even those of one thousand persons) in a country of 320 million is beyond immaterial.
You may as well trot out somebody who was bitten by a runaway lobster in the supermarket and claim that it’s indicative of “a growing trend of rogue lobster attacks.”
And yet it’s very persuasive. Because we like and understand stories way more than we like and understand statistics.
If you’re relying on statistics at the expense of stories in your marketing, you’ll find it equally hard to persuade prospective lobsters. I mean clients.
Last week, while finalizing meeting details, I sent him a two-page report I’d written called, “The 5 Biggest Blocks to Writing a Monthly Newsletter (and how to overcome them right away).”
In the email, I said, “I thought you might find the attached, short article useful.” Today when we met, he had it printed out and sitting on the conference room table in front of him.
You can wait until you arrive at the meeting to start the sales process.
Or (recommended), you can pique the interest of a prospect and start the ball rolling before the “official” conversation even begins.