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Week 013 – Flirt With Your Client – Chapter 04

You will have already experienced those moments in which your pulse quickens as you try to make contact with someone you find attractive. Moments when, nervous but smiling, you approach a person whom you find interesting. My wholehearted recommendation is that you carry those factors of success you’ve achieved in flirting over to your daily business life.
Let’s talk about four factors, which apply as much to prospecting as they do to flirting:

1. Create Excitement, Not Boredom

How do you create excitement? Of course, by avoiding boredom. Who hasn’t heard of those tedious pick-up lines from Flirting 101? Things like: “Haven’t we met before?” or “Come here often?” These, or similar openers, are all

Preparation – Flirt With Your Client © Fotolia 2015 / Syda Productions

Preparation – Flirt With Your Client © Fotolia 2015 / Syda Productions

over the place and they are used too many times already. In prospecting, too, theses dull formulations are notorious.

How can you improve things? The key to an exciting formulation is to take into account the perspective of the person you’re addressing. What is he or she thinking at that very moment? What has he or she experienced recently?

Put yourself into the position of the person in front of you. Here’s an example of an approach at an event, say during a break. How to start a conversation by referring to a recent issue brought up in the program? You could say: “I was really surprised by the last presentation, what do you think about it?” Or, at the buffet, you say, “I see you also chose the fish. Was it worth it?” Or you comment on the poor quality of the coffee with a wink, saying, “Wow, this makes me look forward to some good coffee at home . . . “

2. Show Interest Instead of Talking About Yourself

Would you consider it a good start to a flirt if you were to talk mainly about yourself? Listing your best features and achievements? Of course you would not. That would seem arrogant.

It’s even more surprising, that business meetings consist mostly of such self-presentations. Slides and brochures are designed to show off a company’s virtue. What seems to be forgotten is that people don’t like this kind of swaggering. It is much more attractive, if someone is interested in you. Therefore, show interest rather than showing off!

You can do this simply by asking the right questions. These will show your interest, without being intrusive. Don’t ask, “Where do you live?” or “When were you last at an event like this one?” as if you were interrogating them. It is better to ask questions about the person’s interests, like “What struck you most about today’s program?” or “What was the most valuable insight you came away with from today’s presentations?”

3. Be Easy and Cheerful

Flirting is a game and nobody knows what’s the result of it. Nobody’s going to plan the course of the conversation and put this plan into action step-by-step. Flirting is a dance with words. People involved in it know that this might be heading toward a further step, but they can live with it if it doesn’t.

That’s how it is with professional contacts, too. It might be heading toward a second meeting and maybe even a deal, but it’s not a given. Every prospector knows that you don’t usually end up with a “success,” if by success you mean that it leads to the closing of a deal. Most overtures end in rejection. Those who approach the task sullenly and are put off by this rejection, will hardly be successful at sparking up new conversations.

4. Be Attractive to Get Ahead

In flirting, just as in the initial stages of a business contact, attractiveness is a great advantage – quite apart from the physical allure, which can also be positive. What’s crucial, though, is how attractive the steps after the initial flirt are. Here you need to focus the customer’s needs again.
“What’s in it for me?” That should be the best summary of the questions of your client. You should be prepared for the latter question and think about a most interesting and relevant answer beforehand. Here’s a formulation that might be helpful: “If you recognize that CEOs from your industry have increased their revenues by x percent after nine months of working with us, what would be your reaction?” In this example you can of course replace “your industry” with the specifies of your situation, and the reference to revenue increase with another success factor yielded by your offer.

This week I introduced you to a good mindset to prepare yourself for business conversations. In the further course of this chapter, we will work ourselves consequently through the preparation of an acquisition. Next week, I will discuss issues that belong to a good expression of your products’ features.

Best wishes,
Stephan Heinrich