From “hi” to keen prospect in a minute.

Accepted social conversation sequence:

#1. What is your name?

#2. Where do you live?

#3. What do you do for a living?

At networking events.

#1. Let me tell you what I do. (Data dump.)

#2. What do you do?

Problems are 10x the power of solutions.

“I show people/companies/salesmen how to ______ .”

Technically correct, but no rapport enhancement.

“Well, you know how … problem … solution.” (Declarative.)

“Have you ever noticed this situation? I solve that situation.” (Question. Longer encoding.)

Better. Slight rapport enhancement.

The close? They close themselves by replying, “How does that work?”


Our shortest answer of what we do or offer. Possibly incomplete.

Continue by asking, “Why don’t you tell me a little more about what you do, and then I will tell you how this applies to you.” (Prospects can’t wait to talk about themselves.)

  • Create relationship and rapport. (Decision #2 in our prospects’ minds.)
  • Hold our message and offer in their minds longer.
  • Understand prospects’ situation.
  • Problem/solution information we need.
  • Less invasive than directly asking prospects’ problems.
  • From strangers to a relationship in one strategic sentence.

Examples of fast-tracking the relationship with one sentence:

  • “Why don’t you tell me a little more about what you do, and then I will tell you how this applies to you.”
  • “And how we do this depends on you. Tell me a little bit about business, and I can tell you the ideas you could use right away.”
  • “But I don’t want to be boring. Describe the hardest challenge your business is facing now, and I can pass on the methods others are using to face those same challenges.”​

The curse of free.

A potential coaching client calls and says, “I am looking for a coach, but don’t know if you are the right fit for me. Can we do a 30-minute free coaching call to see if we are a good fit?”

What are our choices?

Choice #1: Do the call for free. Donate 30 minutes of our valuable time and call it “prospecting time for leads.”

When we are brand-new, this looks attractive as we have no one to talk to. We could even tell ourselves, “I will consider this practice time for my skills.”

While there is some value in giving away our services as promotion, unfortunately what we give away is not valued. Our 30-minute time investment feels small to our prospects. We lose the impact of our gift of time.

Go to the local food fair or festival. Every restaurant is giving away free samples for us to taste. How many free samples do we take? Maybe too many samples, and now we can’t eat anything more. Happens. Personal experience.

Did we value the free samples we received? For about 30 seconds. And then the sample is forgotten, and we are on to the next sample.

Choice #2: Save time. Refuse to donate 30 minutes of our time. Not a bad positioning strategy, but of course we lose the lead. Our prospect is gone forever. Not a great way to build wealth. And we also look like a jerk.

Choice #3: Explain to the prospect, “I am a professional. My time is valuable. This is my hourly rate. (Name an amount.) At the end of these 30 minutes, I will send you my bill.”

Seems a bit cold. Feels as if we are closing way too early in this conversation. However, if we are established and our calendar is full, this is a great strategy.

Choice #4: We decide that we don’t want to lose this lead. We want to give ourselves our best chance to get a new client. So before we give away 30 minutes of our best advice, we need to create our 30-minute time gift into more value in our prospect’s mind. Now our prospect will feel more obligated to do business with us. Reciprocation. People feel an obligation to reciprocate a valuable gift.

Here is how we will position our “free advice.”

“I don’t do 30-minute free coaching calls. Those end up being lightweight advice and sales pitches. You and I are both professionals, so I won’t waste your time. However, let’s get serious. I will give you your first high-level, 30-minute coaching call. You can take the advice in our call, and put it to use immediately, one minute after hanging up. And don’t pay me. I won’t even bill you. It will be my gift to you. Let’s get you started now with real world advice that works. Then you will know the difference between working with me ... or not. Seems okay to you?”


Apparently RSVP'ing back "maybe next time" to a wedding invite isn't the correct response.

I just found out I'm colour blind. The diagnosis came completely out of the purple.





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