We all have had that unsavory feeling on both sides of a phone call. As a recipient, we check our caller ID and let the phone keep ringing if we don’t want to answer or are too busy.
If we are the one reaching out, we have had unreturned calls and emails from those we have tried to connect with.
Many times, the lack of response or engagement is a quick calculation in our psyche. We are buried in email and reacting to urgencies. Sometimes, it’s too much energy to redirect our focus without good reason.
However, if we don’t connect, then the opportunities to make something happen won’t materialize. It takes attention, willingness, and at minimum, a conversation.
The best assumption is that you are not connecting because the people you are trying to reach are busy. And if you want to be effective in connecting with busy people, you have to consider winning them by how you focus.
Stop Positioning and Start Connecting Instead
In the past when the conversation was largely one way, the best practice was to position your brand and your offering. But the abundance of choice and multitude of communication channels has changed how we engage. We have our choice and can tune out what we don’t want to hear.
Positioning is still important. It happens over time and is largely your own reputation which precedes you. But even more important today is the value of being human and making a real connection with others. So, instead of using jargon, use plain language. Instead of emphasizing professionalism, be personal.
Remember, everyone you seek to connect with has been touched by multi-million dollar advertising campaigns and completely polished corporate messages. Are you really going to outperform and out-design armies of marketers?
We are all attuned to over-the-top marketing. We have seen feature films and Super Bowl commercials. While impressive, those are entertaining and fleeting.
But we all like remembering and thinking fondly of great conversations and personal moments. We don’t like being sold or feel like we are being sold. Better to be authentic and try to start with being real.
Have Great Ideas and Share Them
People do not care about your problems. They care about their own. They are focused on their issues every day, and it is what consumes their thinking.
If you can think deeply about the dilemmas your customers, your friends and your referral sources are working on, then you can think about how to solve their problems. This is great value and a true connection point.
Now, this is easier said than done. You have to get out of your own desires and focus on others. You have to be growing personally and offer great ideas.
Then you have to practice generosity and share what you are learning, trying and proving in your life. Over time, connecting becomes easier. Your reputation precedes you. You become valuable because you truly are valuable. They count on the fact that you are helping them with the things their minds and hearts are focused on.
When People Take Your Call
You are either ignored or valued. When someone gladly takes your call or responds to your communications, it is because they value you. They know you won’t waste their time and attention.
To win busy people, you ultimately have to care. It is a mindset that shifts to how you first engage and continue to become valuable to the people you touch.
Consider it a compliment when people give you their attention. They are saying, “I find you valuable.”
Earn it slowly and substantively, and don’t abuse the access you have. Winning busy people is hard work and a cornerstone to achieving anything worthwhile in your own pursuits.
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