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Imposing or Providing Valuable Information?

by in Business Marketing
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1993
Imposing or Providing Valuable Information?

It’s no secret that I relocated to Colorado from New Jersey 13 years ago.  Yes, that’s right: I’m from the state whose people enjoy the reputation of being in your face.

Now this isn’t a bad thing, unless you’re speaking to someone who is so painfully shy, that he or she can’t pronounce their name without stumbling.

It was, however, something of a culture shock to encounter the passivity here; and I still have trouble with it.

When I was here for one year, people asked me how much I liked northern Colorado; and I replied that I loved it.  “No road rage.   If I was caught daydreaming at a traffic light (“stop light” out here), no one honked.”  It’s heaven.  Yet a woman took me by surprise when I mentioned the lack of horns honking.  “Well, what good would it do?” she asked.  That stopped me.

Very carefully, I replied, and I’ve used this in seminars for the past 12 years to howls of laughter, “You know, I don’t come from a land of savages; and I’ll admit honking one’s horn isn’t the most polite way to get people to move, but IT WORKS!”

 

There’s a variation of that passive attitude that drives me crazy:  “I don’t want to impose.”  Well, if you’re in business and you’re trying to sell something, a far more productive attitude would be, “I have a product or service that can benefit you greatly.”  You know, the beneficial WII-FMs (What’s in it for me?).

The idea of imposing upon someone by calling him or her twice within seven days simply eludes me, yet it’s fairly prevalent here.  You’re not imposing, you’re educating.  You’re assisting.  You’re providing convenience.  There are many other benefits, but they all completely outrank imposing.

If you called me and asked for a referral, when I scarcely knew you and were totally unfamiliar with the caliber of your work, you’d be imposing.  And I would turn you down.  When one gives a referral, one is putting his or her credibility on the line.  What’s the point in eroding one’s credibility for someone you hardly know?  That’s very different.

If you’re trying to reach someone, preferably by a referral from someone who has presold your skills, however, persistence is the key.  You don’t have to call daily, but once or twice a week is fine.  I even have a script for you:  “I know there’s a fine line between peskiness and perseverance, and I’m not trying to cross that line.  You did say, however, that you were interested in talking to me, so I’m following up.  When is it convenient for us to meet/speak for ten minutes?  We’ll know by then if you wish to proceed.”

You don’t have to use these exact words, but you get the idea.

Imposing?  Being a bother?  No way!  Attitude adjustment necessary.


 

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Adrienne was a New Jersey public speaker and business expert for over THIRTY years. Now she’s a marketing and referral consultant. Denver and Northern Colorado have depended on her since her arrival here over 12 years ago.


Consulting and speaking to business owners and executives of growing businesses throughout the United States since 1977, Adrienne Zoble has guided companies toward marketing strategies that help them work smart, not hard.