I love dinner parties. I like meeting new people and having conversations that vary across all kinds of niches. It’s a place to meet new and interesting people and enjoy the hospitality of friends.
One of the things that I also like doing is picking up an appropriate gift to bring. We all know it is etiquette not to show up empty handed. At minimum a bottle of wine or a nice thoughtful home warming gift shows appreciation as a guest for being invited.
I like to think about the friends I am visiting and pick something that fits the occasion, the relationship and the tastes of my host. The right gift sets a warm tone for the evening, and it communicates care and thoughtfulness.
I think dinner parties have traditions that remind us to be a good guest and approach the occasion with thoughtfulness. It’s part of the natural connection and expectations between human beings.
So why are we so different when we are doing business? When we want to make a connection with a stranger, why approach them with anything less than care and thoughtfulness? If we come empty handed to a dinner party with someone we know, it feels a bit awkward. How much more would that feel with a stranger we are just initiating a relationship with?
I like to challenge my clients to invest $50 into a relationship they really care about making. That’s a minimum. Sometimes that number can get up to $500 or moe depending on the value on the table for doing business.
What if your sales process started with this singular cost of $50? It would definitely change how you do business. You would not wastefully spend time on people that have no chance of saying, “Yes.” The mere fact that every prospective customer costs you something will make you think twice about frivolously wasting someone’s time as well as your own. You are invested and would not want to waste your money or time.
Having a cost to yourself makes you approach selling completely differently than someone who asks a cold call recipient to pay the cost of their attention and time. Not only are you wanting something for nothing, you are asking a stranger to bear the cost on the first interaction! What a bad deal.
If you approach me inappropriately, you have just set me up to say, “No,” regardless of your value. You know the dance. We both would feel the awkwardness of two strangers meeting. There is nothing to break the ice except the pressure of asking for a relationship without even starting it appropriately.
A thoughtful gift that cost you something would at least give the relationship a chance. At minimum, you would have my attention and lower some of my barriers. You would stand in stark contrast to the desperate salespeople out there that throw caution to the wind and simply try and muster a way of gimmicking a meeting.
So, if you changed the way you approached strangers by preceding it with a $50 cost to yourself, what would you do? How could this change your sales process?