It's been an interesting week. I'll share 4 quick stories.
Story #1 An entrepreneur used my calendar link to schedule a meeting. In the agenda field, he wrote: "Hi I was referred to you by XXXXX. They said that you are excellent at sales and my startup just raised some funding to grow our sales team. I'm a first time, young entrepreneur and I've never scaled a sales team before. I'm looking for someone with relevant experience who can help advise me.". We talked. I made a verbal suggestion. He agreed. I didn't hear from him for two days. When I nudged him he replied with, "I've been looking into it....it's definitely not something that we need right now...I'm trying to figure out now is if it's going to be more useful when we have 20+ sales people (shortly). I haven't really had enough time to really look into it just yet." (Didn't he want someone with relevant experience to help scale?) So, I replied, "Seriously? Think about that. What would you say if you were me?" He replied, "I'm not a huge fan of sales tactics being used on me..." (But it will be OK for he and his salespeople to use sales tactics on his prospects?) I reminded him of the agenda that he established for our call and added, "it appears that you know more about sales than I do. I suggest that you go back to XXXXX and ask for somebody else. I'm not the one."
It's OK to say, "No."
Story #2 Remember this article about getting paid what you're worth? We had another conversation. We talked about scope. I understand a lot more about his business and he understands a lot more about how we'll work together. We also agree that the ROI supports the price tag. Now we have to find the budget through creative financing and we both want to get it done.
Value, price, ROI and financing are all different things.
Story #3 I had a conversation with the owner of an inbound marketing agency. He had significant experience in industry A, but thought it would be more lucrative to work in industry B where he has no experience. So, he's talking to people in industry B to learn about the industry and he's making cold calls to prospects in industry B. I didn't offer to help him because he sounded pretty intent on staying his course.
Referrals are inbound. Cold calls are not. (Click here to get referrals.)
Experience in an industry is an asset that can be used to grow more quickly than learning a new industry.
Story #4 A friend of mine introduced me to a friend of his by using this email template and copying me. His friend and I "replied all" twice, so that our mutual friend could see that we followed through on his introduction. Our mutual friend then replied only to me, "Thank you for allowing me to see your process." To which I replied, "I'm very transparent." Then my friend replied, "Ala David Copperfield haha". (I love these emails!)
It's not really magic, but it might look like it the first time that you see it. It takes social understanding, professional commitment, daily practice and a total unwillingness to accept mediocrity.
Some people are stuck. They don't know what they're capable of. They keep making the same mistakes. They try every shiny new thing that comes along or they keep doing the same old same old and expect different results. What could you get done between now and the end of the year if I were helping you?