As I shift this personal blog into a higher gear and seek to build a (mainly free) sponsorship-led distribution model in the autumn, I am currently contemplating the nature of sales and influencing.
I believe that I have a good product and am happy with the proposed model, but with a myriad of ways to bring it to people’s attention, I have conflicting thoughts about how to spread the word. My natural preference is to push rather than pull, but, if my writing for my clients over the past five years has taught me one thing, it is that people need to be warmed up before they consider entering into a relationship with you. Even if that relationship doesn’t cost them any money.
You have to let things ripen.
If you want to influence someone, you need to give them the time and the space to work out the possible permutations on their own. No one chooses to welcome another person into their life lightly. It has to make sense, there has to be a mutual benefit, and the decision has to come from deep within.
I don’t think that this can be achieved with a pushy sales approach.
Much as some of my blogs might have a “self-confident” undercurrent, at my core lies a genuine doubt in my own abilities. I call myself a writer and I happily earn a decent living for my family writing for other people, but I prefer to be told by others how good I am rather than force my own self-image on them. For me, this thought will be at the heart of my business development efforts over the next six months, and actually, it should be at the heart of any sales transaction….
If you want to sell someone something, whether it is an idea, a chocolate bar or a Tesla, you have to give them the space and time to make that decision for themselves. The wait from nibble to bite can be delicious and frustrating in equal measure, but it is important that you move at your potential partner’s pace rather than forcing them into a corner. I have done that far too many times in the past with potential ghostwriting clients (whom I have then lost).
Good relationships do not start by backing people into a corner.
Writing on LinkedIn was great for my business, but that wasn’t really my home. This website will become a place where people can find me whenever they are ready. Whether they need a little bit of inspiration or need a piece of HR writing, I will always be here, writing, every day, to the best of my (fairly limited) ability.
Having a place to share your thoughts and add value to others is so important, and as the business development part of my activity ramps up this autumn, I am lucky that people can come here to “find me” rather than me having to constantly “pursue them.” Somehow life feels better that way.
When you give people space to make the right decision for themselves, you will ensure that a higher percentage are the right decisions for you too. When people know where you are, they will come to you when the time is right. It works, that I know for sure.
When you give people space, relationships ripen when they are ready.
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