Imagine standing in a line of 100 people. They are nice enough but you don’t know any of them. Your job is to get one of them to say ‘Yes’ to you and most if not all of them only know how to say ‘No’.
As you work to get them to say ‘Yes’ they get a bit less pleasant. As you approach them they realize you are hoping for a ‘Yes’ but they don’t know you and they certainly don’t trust you. They are nice on the surface but you can feel their frustration of being interrupted. They don’t have time for you or need what you offer right now and you don’t have time while in this line today to build any trust and the best tool you have is fear (what happens if they say ‘No’) or deception, to tell them what they want to hear in hopes of getting a ‘Yes’ so you can build trust later.
The line keeps getting longer so you know you can keep working as long as you want to so you can perhaps find a ‘Yes’ but it becomes obvious most of them will say ‘No’. You keep working, hoping, expecting but it’s getting harder to stay positive and most of us will quit doing this stuff. It works but it’s exhausting and then we feel guilt for quitting.
So what’s the alternative?
Contrast that with a party. You know almost everyone and they like you and most even trust you. There aren’t as many folks there but almost all of them know how to say ‘Yes’. The few folks you don’t know are friends of the ones you do and they are happy to introduce you to their friends and to tell a bit about you, how they know you and the trust they have in you.
This was the picture I had in my head of the difference between working by referral and cold calling. It captures how it feels to me. Friends vs strangers, trust vs deception, building relationships vs using relationships.
I saw a question in a Facebook group about how hard it is to lead generate this holiday season. For me it’s the easiest thing in the world. Go to the parties, make friends, build relationships and trust. Relax and don’t worry about getting to the end of the line or you can sit on the phone, dialing for dollars and getting through the 100 ‘No’ hoping to find the ‘Yes’.
As the year winds down, spend time with family and friends, invest in others and listen for ways to help, to encourage, to build up and the referrals will come. Maybe not today but they will come and it’s a lot better way to live this life.
Thanks for listening,
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