This article was cut short earlier in the week without a clear message.
Today’s message comes via a true experience from a friend of mine. It is a “good news – bad news” story. I think the lesson is worth sharing.
My friend, who happens to be a professional speaker like myself, spotted an ad in his local newspaper promoting an upcoming conference being produced by an association that he had a particular interest in.
Unlike many (most) small business owners, he sprung into action. I point out the fact that he is the exception since “most” people would hesitate, procrastinate and do nothing with this “lead.”
My friend immediately picked up the phone and introduced himself to the woman who answered the phone. If prodded for a label for this person I would think she was a receptionist, a secretary or a gatekeeper. Regardless of her title, this woman was a very important person.
My friend quickly positioned himself as a qualified candidate to present an opening or closing Keynote at the conference. Just as quickly she reported that he was too late. All proposals were in under the deadline and the committee was meeting in two days to select the annual Keynoter.
This is where “most” speakers would respectfully request that their name be filed and considered for next year’s event. I said “most.”
In this case my friend asked politely if he could ask one more question? When given the green light he asked, “If I was the absolute best choice for your event, would you take a look at my proposal?” This, as you can appreciate, was a bold question.
This captured her attention and she replied, “Well, if you are the best, let me see you proposal by 4 pm this afternoon. If I agree, I will insert you proposal into the pile and nobody will be the wiser.”
He submitted his ideas on time as requested and waited to hear the decision.
And now the bad news. He was not selected… but it was not on account of his efforts.
My lesson to you today is to do everything you can to (1) capture the attention of decision makers and (2) promote your services until you can no longer do so professionally.
You will lose some and you will win some. But the key is not to give up prematurely and allow initial knee-jerk reactions determine your future… without a good fight.
Mike Marchev is always looking for a few more proactive travel professionals to join his Sales and Marketing Club. Send for details.