This is a guest post by Michelle Weinstein.
Every entrepreneur wants the sale. And most of us want it right now, right? Honestly, it’s an understandable place to be. The simple truths is that if you aren’t making sales, you don’t have a business.
But before you pull the trigger and ask someone to trust you with their hopes, their dreams, and their money, you’ve got to establish trust. You’ve got to let them know you care. And you have to let them know that you’re in it for more than just closing the deal.
In other words, relationships come first. And the good news is that you can get them started anytime, anywhere. All you have to do is stay open to opportunities everywhere you go.
We’re talking in line at Starbucks. At 30,000 feet. At a baseball game, the gym, or a PTA meeting. There are opportunities to connect with people everywhere. And the truth is that you never know who you’re standing next to until you ask.
So first, don’t be afraid to make the first move and start talking to people. Second, don’t be afraid to ask for what you would like. And third, bring something of value to the table to share once you do get the conversation started.
Let me tell you about the time that these three simple steps landed my business partner and I several clients in the NFL. (Yes, the National Football League!)
My previous business made high-quality, nutritionally balanced fresh meals for professional athletes. Now, obviously, in order to sell more customized food to more pro athletes, we had to meet pro athletes, right? It was then I decided that we needed to go to this thing called the NFL Combine. Which is held in Indianapolis, Indiana each year.
So we showed up. We roamed the halls and talked to people. We asked for introductions and connections everywhere we went. And we gave out samples of our meal replacement bars to just about everyone. Before too long the word about us started getting around. People started calling us the “food girls”, and tracking us down for seconds on the nutrition bar samples. (That is, of course, until we got busted for not having an official booth and got asked to leave!)
Through it all, though, we made a lot of connections, several of which turned into relationships. And eventually sales. All because we showed up, offered value, and asked for connections. And we did it all without fear of being rejected, laughed at, or kicked out.
That’s the point right there. Talk to people and get to know them. After all, you never know who they are and who they might know. And for that matter, you also might be surprised at who your friends know, too! Let me tell you what I mean.
A while back I asked my friend Sean Croxton if he knew anybody who might be interested in interviewing me for a podcast. He suggested I check out John Lee Dumas, a podcast guru who loves to feature entrepreneurs on his podcast, called Entrepreneur on Fire, and he helped set up the intro.
So I reached out, introduced myself, and brought him a FITzee Foods care package. I wasn’t making pitches or asking for favors, just making a connection and sharing something special. And through that simple gesture we wound up hanging out and talking for about 30 minutes afterward.
Then when I started my own podcast, Success Unfiltered, John Lee Dumas was on the first episode. And he actually interviewed me.
All this happened because I decided initially to ask my friend Sean to help me make a connection. And then I took action. That is what 99% of people don’t do. But it’s something that you can start doing right now. And it’s going to set you apart from the crowd.
Once again, it’s about showing up and starting a conversation. And then bringing value to the table with no strings attached. So how can you make this happen?
My suggestion is to come up with a list of 10 things simple things that will surprise and delight dazzle your ideal clients. Things that cost you little time and money yet dazzle your people with value. And it’s really not as hard as you might think.
Maybe it’s a free 20 minute consultation. Or a short ebook. Possibly a checklist or an audio download. Take a few moments, consider your ideal clients, and ask yourself what would brighten their day and show off your talents at the same time.
And remember: we’re talking about no agenda here. Just establishing rapport, building trust, and getting to know people. That’s the foundation for business relationships that eventually change lives.
That is what will set you apart from the crowd. That is what will break the ice, start a friendship, and let the other person know that you are in it for more than the sale.
And when it comes time for the sale, the one they’re going to call first is a LOT more likely to be you.
Author Bio: For anybody who is trying to grow or take a business to the next level luckily, there’s Michelle Weinstein. She has knocked down the doors and impressed CEO’s at many billion dollar companies. Her relentless pursuit towards buyers at Costco Wholesale earned her coveted shelf space that also led to national deals with The Vitamin Shoppe. Other current clients include the Washington Nationals and Tampa Bay Rays. Within in her inner circle are multi-seven figure entrepreneurs, famous comedians, professional athletes and coaches from the NFL, NBA, MLB & NHL. Website: www.thepitchqueen.com