As with other selling strategies, there are obstacles to giving value in advance. Here are some common obstacles and suggestions for overcoming them:
The Fear of Public Speaking
Many people are uncomfortable with the thought of public speaking. The thought of getting up in front of an audience can be terrifying, especially if you don’t have much practice.
Our philosophy for overcoming your fear of speaking is based on writing quality content. The fear of public speaking comes from the fear of being embarrassed in front of people. When you develop content that you are proud of, you are less likely to feel embarrassed when you present it. Once you are confident that your speech will be well received, you will feel less afraid of embarrassment.
Too Many Seminars
Many people say that they don’t like the idea of conducting seminars because there are already too many competitors who do them. However, we believe that this is self-defeating thinking. Even if your competitors are actively giving seminars, it is unlikely that your targets have had their fill of quality speakers and programs. If your competitors are doing seminars, it is because there is a good reason. By refraining from doing seminars, you are allowing them to own that territory.
Lack of Time
An obstacle for both speaking and writing is that they can require a lot of time. If you are busy, you may feel reluctant to pursue these tasks unless you are confident that they will be a wise investment of time.
Lack of time is also an obstacle for leadership. Volunteering for committees can be time consuming. However, you need to consider the potential rewards. Many of our clients have become active in the trade groups of their clients and referral sources. In time, some of them went on to chair committees. One of our clients, who got referrals from lawyers, became president of his local bar association and generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in business.
The Risk of Making Introductions
Many people are afraid to make introductions because of the possibility that the people you introduce may not get along. Or worse, they may do a deal that goes badly. It is important that when you make an introduction, you are proud of the people you are introducing. Also, you don’t need to make warranties. Rather, you should state that you are introducing people with the understanding that they get to know each other and decide for themselves if they feel comfortable working together.
Discomfort with Entertainment
Many people are reluctant to blend business and entertainment. You may not enjoy social interaction. It may feel awkward or insincere. You may be concerned that your targets will find it manipulative. And you may not be confident that it justifies the cost. Here are some tips for overcoming your discomfort with entertainment:
- Do things that you enjoy.
- Get people to talk about themselves.
- Reveal your interest in doing business.
- Use entertainment when appropriate.
- Make a cost-benefit analysis.
Stay tuned to this space for more detailed discussions of each of these tips.
For more marketing tips, check out our book Selling in Your Comfort Zone.