Getting clients is like Dating: Would you go to bed with a Cling-On?

In the early naughties I tried this thing called “Internet dating”.

I encountered all sorts.

The worst was Giles.

Creepy. Weird. Slightly mental.

 

He asked me who I was texting as we waited for our drinks.

He asked me if I wanted children before our starter had arrived.

He text me 17 times before I got to bed that night (needless to say, without him).

 

Giles had a mighty fine case of chronic attachment syndrome

Sex-y.

 

As small business owners we strive to be cool and confident in meetings, not only to enhance our own image, but to win clients and to charismatically influence decisions.

Unfortunately, far from cool, many of us reek of desperation like a blue cheese left in the heat on a sweaty day.

 

In my last article we looked at shifting your mindset from fear, loss and scarcity.

Today we delve deeper into a symptom of scarcity:

Attachment.

And importantly, what you can do to avoid it.

 

So why is being attached so goddamn bad for business?

It impacts your confidence and performance.

Being attached makes you cling on to bad clients, broken promises and tenuous opportunities. You call on the same tired prospective clients over and over and wonder why you don't get anywhere. You feel awful when they reject you.

You are so attached to failing that you “mind blank” in important meetings or in presentations...

... and fail.

 

It is seriously un-cool.

Ever been out on a date with a 'Giles'?

Clients sniff the desperation.

You reek. Now go have a wash, you.

 

They control you like a puppet

If you depend on a person, a prospect, a client, a boss or a partner for your happiness, success or financial security, you have just granted them puppet-master power over you.

Their responses have the power to control your mood, your behavior and your actions.

Again, this is seriously un-cool.

 

You face epic failure and crushing disappointment

Focusing solely on the outcome (the end goal, getting the client, closing the business, wowing the audience, impressing the girl, winning the gold) sets you up for an epic fail and crushing disappointment when it isn’t reached[1].

Ouchy wouchy.

 

What can I do?

Luckily there is hope.

Detachment (the opposite of attachment) is here to save the day.

When you are detached you have a genuine belief that you will be OK with any outcome. You are emotionally free.

You don’t feel pain when you are rejected. You don’t feel awful when you mess up. You don’t feel the desperate need for approval. You don’t feel the desperate need to get that one client. Because, big picture, it really doesn’t matter.

 Instead, you have the ability to bounce back.

Harder.

Quicker.

Faster.

Stronger.

Your confidence makes you attractive to prospective clients. They want to know you, want to work with you.

Your confidence installs confidence in them.

 

OK, so how do I become detached?

1) Model yourself on Mr Cool:

Mr Attached hasn’t had a new client for a month. He is bricking it. The mortgage. The bills. What is his other half going to say?  He feels pressure going into his next meeting.  He needs this client. He needs a result. He talks about his offer, trying to convince, trying to persuade. Desperately hoping for a yes. The client feels uncomfortable, pressured and almost sorry for him.  They can’t wait for the meeting to end so they can get the hell out of there and ignore his calls for the next month.

Mr Cool understands he needs clients, however sees the opportunity out there. He knows this meeting is important but he detaches himself from the outcome.  He goes into the meeting with good intent, looking to understand how he can help the client. He is assertive and confident, explores the situation, gives recommendations and offers the option of not working with him. The client feels comfortable, secure and has faith in the solutions offered.

 

2) Have faith things will be OK

Check in with yourself before customer meetings.

  • Are you worried about what will happen or what they will say?
  • Are you thinking about how to impress them?
  • Do you feel reliant on the outcome of the meeting?

The most successful people sell in the present. They listen and they do not pin their hopes on one encounter.

Think big picture, have faith and a quiet confidence that in the end everything will turn out OK.

 

3) Are you a Bee or a Flower?

Have a think. When you are with a prospective  client are you the bee or are you the flower?

Next time I am going to share with you how to position yourself in your head so that you can totally nail the concept of detachment.

But that is for next week's article....

Have a great week!

Jen