Before you turn away in disgust, I should point out that the title of this blog post is merely an analogy (or metaphor) I can never figure out which is which… to a mistake that I see happening EVERY single day in the business world.
In a nutshell, I see people trying to pitch someone on an idea, phone call, joint venture deal etc… before they have even begun to build a relationship with that person.
It makes me cringe, so I decided to do something about it and share a few tips, mindset shifts, and strategies to help ensure you never look like a selfish, greedy, son of a gun.
RULE 1: Don’t try and sleep with someone on a first date
ME: oh look, I have a new Facebook friend request, let’s check it out…
THEM: “Hi there, will you promote my product?”
ME: wow, pitching me on a Facebook friend request… that is low. *DELETE/BLOCK*
The moral of this gripping tale is to get to know someone first… build a real relationship/friendship first. Think of what you would do on a first date… you would get to know them, be nice, listen, be helpful and friendly, etc… the same rules apply.
RULE 2: The personal touch is essential
If I had a dollar for every time I get an email that starts with “Dear webmaster” or “Dear sir/madam”… I would have enough dollars to build an army of zombie robots to go out and do my bidding.
Er, anyway… world domination aside, here is the moral of this zombie apocalyptic tale… if you don’t even know my name or my sex, then what on earth makes you so confident that we are a good match to do business together?!?
Also, people are not idiots… we have red flags in our mind that have been trained over many years, and we can spot spam, bots and “throw crap against the wall and see what sticks” type methods a mile off.
So if you are sending friend requests or emails, it should address the person by name… this takes no time at all, yet makes a huge difference… this basically tells people that you are not just cutting and pasting, or mass emailing.
RULE 3: Fun is the new black
Are you looking for strategic connections, affiliate partners, business opportunities etc on sites like Facebook or Twitter? Well here’s the thing: Most people use social media when they are bored… they will rarely admit it, but we all know it is true.
So if you are trying to connect with new people, it will go a long way if you can be fun, interesting, entertaining…. you don’t have to try to be a comedian, but if you can make someone feel better after reading your update than before they read it, you are on the right track.
RULE 4: Find the win/win and negotiation is easy
At the risk of feeling the wrath of the “tired old business cliche committee” I offer up this little nugget: “Most people’s problem is that they are constantly tuned into WIIFM” (What’s In It For Me).
A deal or project where there is equal benefit to both parties is a much easier deal to close. It is your job therefore to focus on ensuring that a) there IS a benefit to both parties b) The focus is less on you, and more on them.
If you disagree with the above, then I have a lawn you can come and mow.
RULE 5: Don’t de-value yourself
Perception can often be reality, especially on the Internet… so always be wary of lowering your perceive value/authority.
Let’s go back to the dating world, which is quite apt, as the concept of de-valuing one’s self is a core principle in the underground world of PUA (Pick-UP Artists).
GUY: “Oh my god, you are so beautiful, I can’t believe someone like you would even be talking with someone like me”
Can you see why, although kinda cute and honest, this would not go down well if you were to say this to someone you just met?
I don’t want to dive too deep into this area, but we make snap judgements in our mind all the time, we all do it, even though it is socially unacceptable to admit we do.
My friend Ryan Lee just wrote a nice blog post about people asking to “pick his brains“, and he made some great points.
However, some of the tips he gives include:
* Buying the expert a cup of coffee
* Working for them for free
While I am sure this can be used to get an initial introduction with an expert, it also starts you off on the wrong foot in my opinion.
Sure, you will notice the person who is blatantly kissing your ass with free coffee, but are you likely to want to do business with them?
My good friend and mentor James Schramko once shared a little trick at one of his events… he said that when the audience get photos with the speakers, they should remove their attendee name tags from around their neck for the photo….
If you can see why that is smart advice, then great, if you can’t, then you may well be “that guy or gal”.
Despite everything I said above, relationships, connections and rapport should ideally be a natural, unforced, and certainly not a rule or tactics based thing… but hopefully the above will give you some ideas or insights into the world of social interaction, joint venture deals and relationships.
Have a great day.
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