I’m going to speak from the heart with this one.
I may even get a little personal. But there’s a point to all of it.
And it’s this: how our desire to find love and acceptance is very closely related to finding business.
Just a month shy of my 39th birthday, I met my husband. We married a few months later, much to the astonishment of friends and family.
Mickey was everything I wanted in a potential spouse. But before we met, I had read dozens of books about relationships.
And I do mean dozens.
After I became involved more with marketing, I realized how closely dating resembled prospecting for business, how “courting” a person in a relationship was akin to “courting” a client.
And both types of pursuits had the hope of sealing the relationship with a formal commitment.
Here are a few things I learned about relationships that may serve you well in marketing your business:
Don’t Be Desperate
In the dating game, people can spot desperation a mile away and it ain’t pretty.
A woman who tries to pressure a man to ask her out rarely achieves her goal. A man who tries too hard to be viewed as successful while acting pompous also fails.
Quite simply, you don’t want to scare off potential customers with such tactics. They are full of anxiety and repel most people. And who wants to be around an anxious person?
This can show up in written communication like email. Phrases like, “I am so honored to meet you,” or “I am so grateful that you responded to me,” sound desperate.
You are a confident, competent business owner. Even if you don’t feel that way, practice it in your correspondence. A simple “nice to meet you” or “thanks for the quick response” reflects courtesy without the desperate undertones.
Take Time to Develop the Relationship
Most people need time to get to know one another before moving to the next level of commitment in a relationship.
A similar dynamic occurs in a business relationship. You don’t ask a prospect to marry you the first time you meet them. Instead, you discover what the person’s challenges are and if there is a need for what you have to offer.
You do this by listening.
Lots of listening.
Eventually, you’ll discover if you’re a good fit. But all of this takes time. Your prospect has to do due diligence before investing in a new product or service and that means a lot of research and information to back up that decision.
Which brings me to the final point.
Prove That You’re Worthy
I love Golden Eagles. The female eagle employs a fascinating method for choosing her mate.
She picks up a twig and flies high in the air. She then drops it. The male eagle, who wants to mate with her, dives and catches it mid-air.
The female eagle then picks up a larger twig and does the same thing. She continues to do this with larger and larger pieces of wood until she’s hoisting up a huge branch, dropping each piece and watching to see if the male eagle will be able to catch it mid-air.
If the male allows the wood to fall to the ground, then it’s game over. The female wants nothing to do with him. If the male is successful in catching all of the pieces of wood before they hit the ground, he gets to mate with the female.
Why do this?
Because when she hatches her eaglets, eventually the day will come when she literally kicks them out of the nest so they can learn to fly. Except the little eaglets have no idea they can fly.
As the young bird is hurtling toward earth at breakneck speed and weakly flapping his wings, suddenly the father eagle swoops in and catches the little eaglet on his back. Now the “drop the stick, pick it up” game makes sense.
Your prospect is looking for any sign that you’re not trustworthy or ethical. They don’t want to waste time or money on a business that doesn’t have integrity and who won’t treat them well.
Show your business is worthy by offering a no-hassle return policy or complimentary tutorials to learn how to use your product. Such gestures will create trust and loyalty.
Starting a relationship can be exciting but working toward a commitment that will benefit both parties takes communication, understanding, and time. So the next time you meet a prospect, don’t ask her to marry you right away.
Invite her to have a coffee and then listen. It just may be the start of a beautiful relationship!