Part of business is that you push people’s buttons. No push, no reaction, capisce? At least that’s how I thought of it until I was pushed to think better.
Ideally you want to pull people in and the only way this happens is through lots of patience and putting out good quality content day in and day out…In short, through building relationships.
But everyone is entitled to running out of patience (or so I thought. Running out of patience is a costly exercise as you’ll see). Sometimes it gets to a point, where you just want something to happen. You want a key partnership to fall in your lap or better yet, the call of the wild takes over and you want to go hunting (instead of planting the seeds, cultivating and harvesting when the time is right).
Trust me if this can happen to me (a student of patience) it can happen to the best of us and this is when we engage in something called outbound marketing. We go outside of our immediate community, out of the bounds of the people we’ve already built relationships with. We either do cold calls, or send e-mails, or in my case, find an event organiser who’s put together a tribe who can really benefit from my years of analysing stories shared across social media.
The risk with these types of outbound marketing activities is that the recipient of the call/message doesn’t know us from Adam and they don’t have a reason to care about us. Add to this the plague of our times, limited attention span. Grown-ups can sometimes be less tolerant than Lucy, my 18 month old. It’s a gamble you take, but you’re desperate for something to happen, so you do it. You reach OUT.
I did it in a sneaky way. A way that’s not completely in line with my value of direct communication.
I feigned interest in some Money seminar. From the information provided on their website, it appeared to be for social entrepreneurs who were open to participating in interactive workshops within a safe setting of other supportive people all there for the purpose of expanding their views on money, conceive more money in their lives and then eventually manifest it.
Anyways, my intention was not to attend the seminar for the breakthroughs, which I can see have value to people. I had an ulterior motive, my way of expanding my business to make money on my own terms.
My plan was simply this, when the seminar organiser called, I was going to listen attentively and really be present. I’d picked a day Lucy was in daycare so she would have my full attention. But by twist of luck, the organiser was unwell so we rescheduled to an afternoon on a Monday, when hopefully Lucy would be napping.
Come Monday 1PM, Lucy was not napping. I only had 3 minutes before all hell would break loose as Lucy likes to get a word, screams and squeals in when I’m on the phone and when that happens I lose all focus.
So I told the lady on the other line exactly what was on my mind before Lucy jumped in.
Rudely, the gist of what I told her was the following:
“Look lady, I got no interest in this racket you’re running but I am interested in people who want to make more money. They would be willing to invest time on their social media presence which is where I can help.”
She was speechless. No doubt not expecting the conversation to go in this particular direction.
“So, here’s my offer to you, I come along to this thing, and we pick out 10 people whose social media profiles I can review and make suggestions for helping them create future content to attract more people to their tribe. I’ll do the initial review for free and then they can hire me if they want me to write their messaging.”
Again, she was not sure of what to say. I’d clearly overstepped my boundary. So politely she asked me to send an e-mail showcasing my work.
I responded with a personal note in an attempt to come off more human after the highly transactional nature of the phone call (all in the name of keeping Lucy silent) and forgot to attach my writing portfolio.
Understandably she was annoyed and generously went into the trouble of making some suggestions to help me improve my approach to business.
Her pointers were:
- Make sure your message is timely. As she was in the leading week to her seminar, she was focusing on finding attendees and I’d taken her away from what she was trying to accomplish.
- Listen before you say anything and try to understand what’s on offer as this is essential for relationship-building.
- Don’t be rude and remember this is a learning experience. Learn and grow.
So you fail, you learn. Success is never final and failure never fatal said some wise man. I was polite in the follow ups, making sure all my communications were coming from a place of love and straight from my heart.
My take-away: Don’t have ulterior motives. People hate ulterior motives when they got a job to do and need to be as direct as possible.
In conclusion: This post is the fruit of the emotional labour and the friction I lived through (it didn’t kill me. It never kills anyone). May it nourish you in some way if you choose to engage with it. It may not appeal in look, colour, juiciness, texture, shape or size, which is all fine. Not all fruit is for everyone.
But one bite, and I promise you it will take you out of Eden. It always does when you see the world through someone else’s eyes.