How to Make Your Call Irresistible (Mostly)
It's hard enough to deliver what the marketplace wants. It's even harder if you don't bother asking them.
I observed this in a recent conversation I had with a friend who purchased my books. Names are substituted; the substance of our exchange is real.
I've known Jim for many years. We've influenced each other's personal and professional lives. His business provides logistical support to health clubs for collecting member dues and facilitates engagement between clubs and members.
We were on the phone to address my immediate need: learning, from my target customer, how to deliver knowledge and expertise most effectively.
("Effectively" means in a manner the customer finds useful, at a price the customer is willing to pay. It's odd how quickly we forget those.)
I learned Jim was hungry for expertise I already possess and dole out generously: how to build on relationships after the first encounter.
When Meeting People is NOT the Problem
A lot of training for business networking focuses on overcoming anxiety and awkwardness. Jim does not suffer from a lack of confidence or knowing what to say.
His main problem, he explained, is after building initial rapport. People evaporate from his radar as quickly as they appear. It's like when Obi-Wan Kenobi appears to Luke Skywalker in The Empires Strikes Back:
I can relate. I used to connect strongly with people at masterminds, trade shows and events - and then spend forever trying to get them on the phone.
This can be discouraging. I gave up on it a few times. Why don't people want to follow up on relationships they start?
Business First, Friends Next
One reason people think networking as an extrovert's territory is our tiresome cultural canard of "not mixing business with pleasure." This antiquated theory has to go.
Business, fundamentally, is an act of pleasing another one of God's children. This is one reason God smiles on a posture of subservience in an entrepreneur toward a customer, and rewards it with monetary applause.
So you should follow up with people ... but it is infinitely better to follow up with them for business reasons benefiting them.
But how? In 2019, a phone call is too urgent. You need a more nonchalant, casual way of drawing people into your funnel.
Long ago you could follow-up through a telephone call. Today, phone calls qualify as subjective and luxurious access, like backstage passes - especially with busy entrepreneurs.
Before you dial, you should ask yourself if the person on the other end of the line will think twice about commuting your call to voicemail. If the answer is "no," you may as well not dial; you're putting the cart before the horse.
How to Make Your Call (Mostly) Irresistible
DISCLAIMER: I'll admit, I don't have "carte blanche" to call even my biggest fans. If they're in the middle of another call or a meeting, I'm not getting a pick-up. Even my wife, who sleeps next to me every night, declines my call when she's up to her eyeballs in software code drama.
All you can really get in life is an enhanced chance of success. Everything else is time and chance, by even the Bible's own admission.
To do this, you'll need a few materials:
A strong social media presence (if you're unsure about how to do that, join my FREE Facebook group to learn how)
A product or service offer the market actually wants
Jim's Blind Spot
Jim has those ingredients. He knows his customer well, and knows how to uncover their struggles in business.
He just didn't have a tool to nurture the rapport he built. If a club owner said to him, "We have a lot of problems collecting money from people," Jim had only a few options:
He could offer sympathy, which would avoid being salesy, but would not solve the problem;
Be salesy and push his product too soon.
The solution to this was answers when his target clients shared their difficulties. How much easier could Jim gain access by offering free content speaking directly to the issues at hand?
Content, I might add, that could ONLY be accessed by joining Jim's free Facebook group or subscribing to his e-mail list?
Now of course, Jim should verbally offer solutions. That's better than going straight to asking for a subscription.
But after furnishing one free answer, he could offer an ongoing means of support and adding value.
This works. When someone much more successful at strategic connections offers me the same thing, I quickly sign up.
So, we strategized for Jim to form free groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, and participate in more conversations.
Spotting a need, Jim would come swooping in with the answer ... and then offer more answers - in exchange for e-mail addresses or group membership.
Only then, when his suspects turned to prospects who indicated their interest in doing business, did he have the green light to use the phone.
Success Leaves a Trail
As our call concluded, Jim told me something fascinating.
"You know, Paul," he reflected, "I have a direct competitor with whom I have a great relationship. We compete, but we also get along and swap ideas.
"Until you articulated this, I realize now that I've actually been watching what you describe the whole time. That's exactly what my competitor does."
The solution was under Jim's nose and in front of his face. I know that feeling; what's obstructing me from success right now probably stares me in the face.
So, per the original purpose of this phone call, I sought and found confirmation that I had a product to offer - now I put the question to you.
I have groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. I have my bestselling book. I have a strong social media following. I have free content to offer.
Tell me what you think I'm missing in the comments!