I often approach an unsuspecting woman in a live seminar audience and catch her by surprise by asking her if she would consider marrying me. It should come as no surprise that a quick, and oftentimes terse, refusal follows in a Nano-second.
Priding myself as being rejection-proof, I immediately swing to a second woman sitting near by and ask the same question … only to receive the same answer. After the third attempt it becomes clear to the group that I am not interested in any particular individual, and that I must be working from a self-serving agenda. I simply want to become married, and I don’t particularly care with whom I perform the ceremony. As a result, not one of my targets should be flattered, and no one should seriously consider my proposal.
The same phenomenon occurs in the sales arena everyday. Will you buy something from me? Will you? How about you? It soon becomes glaringly apparent that this salesperson suddenly wants to flog his wares and make lots of money. Sales to them is strictly a numbers game, and has little to do with relationships. Due to this self-serving approach, no one is very interested in doing business with them. And hence, the poor reputation for us sales professionals prevails.
Back to our marriage scenario. Don’t we identify a person of interest and then court the person we are interested in over time? Maybe take them to a movie? To dinner? A walk in the park? A genuine and sincere effort takes place to get to know each other. Building a business relationship should not be any different. Meaningful relationships result over time.
I have to giggle when I hear relative strangers use the phrase, “You can trust me.” The truth of the matter is I can’t trust you as far as I can throw you. At this moment in time, I don’t know you or the color of the horse you rode in on. Trust takes time. And relationships are built on trust.
We must first identify the people and companies that we want to get close to and eventually do business with. Next, we must make it clear that we have an interest (a sincere interest) in helping them solve their problems. Only then will we be in position to prove our value.
In short, we must take the time to do things right.
1. Make a list of the people you want to get to know.
2. Contact them. Introduce yourself and your service. Let them know you are alive and interested.
3. Follow up with a “thinking of you” letter or card. Include an article of interest, about the travel industry or better yet, their personal interest.
4. Don’t become disappointed when there doesn’t appear to be in initial interest. You know how the game is played. Position yourself as #2, right behind the current agency of record. Be patient. Your time will come.
Mike presents a business-building webinar on the third Thursday of every month sponsored by AmaWaterways. To receive a complimentary invitation send Mike an email with the phrase “AmaWaterways” in the Subject Box. You will also receive a link to the recorded version.
For information on Mike’s 6-Week Online Selling Course, email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org with the words “sales course” in the subject box.