Are You Making This Prospecting Mistake Online?Dec 20, 2020
This topic is near and dear to my heart. As a leadership coach, I specialize in communication strategy and sales. Prospecting new clients is the ultimate test of your ability to get someone to trust you enough to buy from you. So, today I'm going to talk about the #1 mistake that I see people making in their online businesses when prospect.
Honestly, it makes me cringe even writing about it. So let's just get it out of the way!
Here's the #1 mistake:
Reaching out to strangers in message chat with an instant promotion, "About My Business", or sale.
Ouch! I get these messages on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn all the time!
Unfortunately, the reason so many people are doing it today, is because bad business coaches are teaching it. This mistake is the same mindset that the hated car salesmen, door-to-door sales, or network marketers are known for. We all know why it's hated, so why the hell are so many people doing it? just stop. Please.
In business, a lot of marketing and promotion is just a numbers game. How many eyeballs from my target market can I get this in front of? But this great mindset only works in the right situations. Trying to reach out to a real live, breathing person who has a family, a job, a life...That's not the right time to be doing this. Nobody likes to feel like just a number to someone else, and when you're going to ask for thousands of dollars and an extremely personal coaching program, why would you think it's okay to start the relationship off with making them feel like that?
Let me show you an overview of what to do instead. Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less. It's not a position or title. It's a strategy or form of connecting with someone in the intention of helping them get somewhere else. There are key steps to beginning to build influence with someone that must be done, and must be done in order. The reason I'm bringing this up, is because when you prospect you need to build an intense amount of trust, likability, and then influence with that person to get them to do what you want (with the intention of knowing it's what will help them). There are clear-cut steps to this process that I'll lay out below. I'm not able to go into a lot of detail now but if you want to master this process, you can set up a private coaching program with me:
1. Create a connection
When you first meet someone in-person, a lot goes into this step. From how you shake their hand, to how you stand and talk. The simple connection rules are to match their level of energy, and ask questions! Your #1 goal here is to find something about them that you both have in common. Something other than a job title, etc. Do you both own cats? Love to travel? Get personal! All of these steps can be done when building online connections as well. The body language just doesn't apply.
2. Build likability
People love talking about themselves more than anything else. We are wired to be self-centered. So, when you're engaged and listening to what they talk about, then asking more questions and staying on the same topic as them, it tells them that they are important to you. This is the #1 goal to build likability. Everything is about proving to them that they matter to you, and that you have things in common.
3. Build trust
Deposit into the relationship bank before asking to withdraw anything. Building trust is easy in a brand new relationship. It's harder to regain if you break it. So, this step is very important! This step is also the one that is being broken when you make the #1 mistake above. The beginning of a relationship (which is what you need to build when prospecting), must be giving to the other person. Whenever you try to take from the relationship, aka asking to buy or join or follow, etc. it depletes the relationship trust 'bank account'. So, if you put into the relationship more than you take, your trust level goes up. The key to building trust quickly is by actively listening, remembering names of people or pets that are important to that person, and by helping them without expecting anything in return. In networking events, my go-to saying is, "It's great to meet you! I'm meeting a lot of people here, tell me, who are you looking to connect with? In case I meet them, I can send them your way." Or some version of that.
4. Start influencing
After the first 3 steps are completed, you can start to influence a person. The better leader you become, the more you can influence people. That's why I always tell coaches, entrepreneurs, and sale-people they need to learn to lead!
When you build up influence, you can start asking them to do something. This makes business building (and life in general) so easy! When I launched my new Facebook business page and 'asked' my friends of 210 people to Like my page, 174 of them did within 48 hours! That means, 174 people in my friend's list I built enough influence with prior to that.
Something to keep in mind before I wrap up; The bigger the 'ask' the more influence you need. Liking a Facebook page requires little influence, because it's a small thing to ask. Wanting someone to pay me $10,800 for a 6 month private coaching program which takes their entire lives into my hand to guide, requires a lot more influence.
Persuasion and manipulation are forms of influence. They trick and have bad intentions unlike leadership. So, with this information please tread carefully.
Let me know what you think! Have you intentionally built influence with someone in the past? Can you think of someone you've built influence with by accident?
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