Land of (missed) Opportunities – part 1: Engage & Educate

Recently, in the space of a week or so, three individual events sparked my interest. All relate to business opportunities that were already ‘warm’ and with the right approach would have led to income for the people I was interacting with. Each has a slightly different slant but I feel there is something to reflect on in each, in this post I will reflect on the first.

The Branding exercise

I was looking to get some professional assistance with proper branding for my business and website. My early DIY attempts with photoshop were not really consistent with the message I wanted to convey. In the true sense of removing duplication and responding individually to every person interested, I set up a page on my blog with my key requirements and how I’d like the application process to work. I then asked for recommended and interested Graphic Designers to go to the page and respond to me.

Now, I have not had to do this before so was not au fait with the usual process for engaging a GD, so I asked interested parties to visit my site, get a feel for me and my business and jot down a few ideas, ‘fag packet sketches’ if you will. In my line of work, it is usual to have to offer some kind of taster session for people to assess you and to start to build rapport and trust. In asking for a little initial input, I was asking for a similar interaction.

Now, the result was interesting:

  • Only two actually did what I asked, providing some initial concept ideas, prior work portfolios and some outline costings.
  • Some came back and said that they did not work the way I had asked but actually entered into conversation, telling me how they worked and educating me as to why they worked the way they did
  • Some responded that they did not work that way and therefore would not consider working for me unless I paid them upfront In this case, not actually taking the time to tell me why that would be the case or engaging in any conversation
  • Some didn’t bother to engage at all

For those in the latter two categories, this was truly a lost opportunity. I was clearly ready to spend money and the job actually went to one of those who ‘did not work that way’ but engaged in a dialogue and who ultimately convinced me via their portfolio and approach that they could do a good job and I could work with them.

Engage & educate

The learning for me here:

  • Potential clients may not be aware of what you do or your process, therefore, engage with them, take the time to understand their requiremens and educate them in your approach, processes and requirements at the same time.
  • Invest a little time in building trust and rapport with a potential client. What does 30 mins of your time cost? Would it be worth it to win an order and potential of repeat business? Think lifetime value.

In part 2, I will tell you about my experience with a national Health Club chain…

Written by Rob Cameron

Rob Cameron

Rob Cameron is a Business Coach, passionate about helping business owners to grow and develop their businesses to achieve the lifestyle they desire. Founder & owner of Ignition Coaching.

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