When was the last time a service provider asked you this question, before launching into their pitch?
I found it really difficult to translate “what I do for you” online, and resisted posting my services and prices for a very long time, because what’s worked for me IRL (in real life) for 30 years now, doesn’t really translate well online.
It’s only recently that I did so here, and I must confess, I did it with a lot of trepidation and reservation.
In real life, this is usually how a first encounter goes.
At a first meeting, whether that be at an event, a chance encounter, a social gathering, one of the first questions that someone asks is “What do you do?”
Here’s my response, and how the conversation generally unfolds:
Me: “What do you need done?” (said with a smile)
Person: laughs…is taken aback…doesn’t really know what to say…
Me: “Hey, I could give you a standard answer, like I’m a business coach. Or a typical elevator speech that says I help you be the best you can be, in business and in life, for your increased prosperity and profitability. But what’s really important is what I can do FOR YOU. And if I can’t help you, I’m sure I can find or recommend someone who can.”
This approach invariably leads into a conversation about the person’s needs and wants. I offer perspective, suggestions and recommendations. Tidbits of “free” advice and suggestions, given freely, with pleasure. And if the person really doesn’t know what they need or want…well, I simply say “Hey, that’s OK. If there’s ever anything I can lend a hand with, don’t hesitate to contact me.”
In either case, and in the majority of times, the person asks for my contact information, and I theirs.
I ALWAYS follow up with something that will be meaningful to THEM.
If, for instance, they shared that they have an interest in, say, photography, I might follow up with a link to some beautiful photos, and/or a handwritten card with a beautiful photo on front.
If they share information on their company (and they do), I research their company and look for things that I can comment on, like “great to hear that you’ve combined efforts with company xyz: wishing you lots of luck”, or “congratulations on the new appointment to your company”.
The more I provide value to them, the more I believe that, when and if they need my services for THEIR benefit, they’ll turn to me. And if they don’t happen to need my services (did I just say that out loud?), I hope they will refer me to those who do.
You see, I believe every person we meet in life is at least one of these:
- A client/customer
- A champion
- A connector
- A supplier
- An ambassador
When we think only in terms of “making the sale”, we miss the opportunity of making a connection that will benefit both parties.
Here’s a few examples of what I share in my training.
You can be sure that:
- the person who cut you off in traffic and you flip the bird to is the potential client you’re racing to meet with.
- the person who jammed you in the back of the ankles with their shopping cart at the grocery story, and you swore a blue streak at, is the person you’ll meet with the next day as you’re pitching for a contract
- the person who appeared somewhat dishevelled and in casual attire at the airport, that you dissed and dismissed, is actually the CEO of the company you’re looking to work with
You get the drift.
When we make nicey-nicey, put on the charm and start the plaid-coated-used-car-salesman pitch, thinking we’re “all that and a bag of chips”, believing that we’ll seal the deal by saying what we DO, I say STOP! Speak to the person’s WIIFM…their “what’s in it for me?”
I call the former the Grandma’s brag book syndrome, where someone gives you their resume in the first few moments of meeting them.
No need to brag. No need to push-sell.
Instead, pull-market. Find out all you can about the person you’re speaking to. Listen twice as much as you speak. Discover what they need: how to reduce their pain and/or solve their problem. Give freely, and with joy.
When you do that, you not only pay-it-forward: you create business opportunities.
I love what I do. But more importantly, I love what I can do for you.
Do you find out what someone needs and wants, or do you launch into your sales pitch right off the bat?
Are you a good listener?
Do you enjoy what you do for others?
My Mission: A simple 3 words – To spread joy
My Mantra: “If I have been of service, If I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, If I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, If I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day.” ~ Alex Noble
It’s my purpose, in business and in life, to be of service.
It’s a good life.