PROSPECT: “Hey Joe, how is your business?”JOE: “Terrible! This economy is killing me. Everybody’s doing bad!”
PROSPECT: “OK then, good to talk to you.”
PROSPECT: “Hey Dan, how is your business?”
DAN: “Not bad! Sure, last year I took a hit, but I’m digging back out of it. I’ve brought some new clients on board this year and I’m filling my pipeline with more prospects.”
PROSPECT: “Good for you! What have you done to make the difference from this year to last year?”
To quote Monty Python, “RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!” Nobody wants to talk to Joe. Even if Joe is telling the truth, nobody wants to go there. Let’s put business aside for a minute and put ourselves in any conversation at a party or a ball game or golf outing and you spend a significant amount of time with several people. Now you’re driving home and thinking back about Joe and Dan. Dan was a breath of fresh air when compared to Joe. In the future I’ll be sure to avoid Joe because he’s just flat out depressing. Dan, on the other hand, is the light at the end of the tunnel. I want to hear more about Dan and his strategies. I want to be like that guy. I’ll be sure to follow up with Dan.
We are all in the same game of growing our business and we’re all fighting the same battles. Being positive and staying positive is hard work but it also becomes a habit if you work at it. What is the payoff of being positive (+) verses being negative (-)? Whatever the event is, you are constantly networking whether you realize it or not. Let’s take a look at the impact:
(+) Prospects will be more likely to engage and stay engaged in conversation.
(-) Prospects will disengage and run away and never come back.
(+) Prospects will have favorable memories of you after the event and may tell their contacts about you.
(-) Prospects will remember how negative you were and try to forget you.
(+) Prospects will be more likely to introduce you to other colleagues at the event.
(-) Prospects will not want to associate themselves with you and your negativity and certainly don’t want to be responsible for bringing the downer into somebody else’s world.
(+) You leave the prospect with a positive subconscious feeling about you and your business.
(-) The prospect is trying to get you out of their mind as quickly as possible. You’ve become forgettable, or worse, you will be remembered to be avoided.
(+) Positive events that occur the following week may remind the prospect of the good conversation they had with you at the event.
(-) When something bad happens to the prospect the following week that will cause them to say “Joe was right” and you are associated with negative events.
(+) When you call to follow up with the prospect you hear “Sure Dan, I’d be happy to meet with you! Wednesday is good for me.” The prospect will make time for you.
(-) When you call to follow up with the prospect you hear “I’m really tied up for the next couple week Joe. Follow up with me in a couple week.” They go out of their way to avoid you.
So when somebody asks how your business is doing, take an extra minute and be positive about your answer.