Boy, this really ticked me off!
Recently, a business colleague referred a guy to me for some copywriting work. I love referrals because when I talk with the potential new client, it’s an easy sale to close. Our mutual acquaintance has already primed the prospect by talking about my work and what a nice guy I am. 🙂
When I called this referral, I quickly discovered he had no intention of hiring me for copywriting – he had something much more sinister on his mind…
See, he had heard about me – how I used to work for Russell Brunson at DotComSecrets, how I write for GKIC and Dan Kennedy – and he determined that I must be “well connected” in the info and online marketing business – a business he wanted to “tap into”.
Now, normally when I speak with a potential client for the first time, I ask them all about them, their business, and what their copywriting needs for the project are…you know, I build trust and rapport (the foundation of any business relationship!)
But this guy didn’t even let me get that far because he began interrogating me on how he could get connected with Russell…did I have a direct phone number, what’s the secret to getting past the receptionist, would I talk to Russell for him…
…Seeing where this was headed, I politely declined to provide any information and wrapped up the conversation…no need to spend any more time with him.
A couple of weeks later, he was at a seminar where I was speaking. Once I finished, he approached me and, again, began asking me for “insider” information on Russell and GKIC. Though there were other people waiting to speak with me, he had no intention of letting this “face time” end. Professionally annoyed, I wished him well and moved on to the others who were patiently waiting their turn.
In contrast, a year or so ago, I happened to meet a guy in Starbucks. On several occasions, we had noticed each other working there in the middle of the day, whiich opened up a light conversation about “you must be a freelancer, too” and “what do you do?”
His name is Tyler and he is a marketing guru that focuses on graphics to promote products (not just your average graphic designer!)
Our first few conversations were very short and we shared just basic information. Our meetings in Starbucks were just “by chance” and it took several times of chatting for us to have enough information to determine we could help one another in our businesses and even provide referrals.
The more we talked, the more he shared his expert tips on how I could use graphics to promote my new product that was in development. I could tell he knew his stuff and, when the time came, I hired him to create the covers for “Effortless Sales Letters.”
I’ve also referred my own clients to him because I completely trust him and his work now.
So, what did Tyler do that the first guy didn’t?
To begin with, Tyler built rapport with me. He did not ask me for anything. He let our professional relationship gel over time, knowing that each time we met, a little more information would be revealed and confidence would build.
Then, Tyler gave me value. He gently shared his expert tips for my product without being pushy or even asking me to hire him to do the graphics work. I appreciated his insight and that got me thinking about hiring the work out rather than using canned, free artwork (which is what I might have done on my own since I’m not a graphics expert).
And finally, when Tyler did suggest I hire him, he didn’t ask for any “favors” in return. He didn’t come across as a “user” like the first guy did. By the time Tyler and I were ready to transact business, I knew, liked, and trusted him.
So much so that I’m now referring all of you to him! His name is Tyler Archer, he is a very talented designer, and you can find him here: Tyler Archer
Be sure and tell him I sent you!
Good story, and good lesson! Why does it seem like some “friends” only connect with you when they want something? A family acquaintance named Julie is of that sort. The last time she called me I said, “Hi Julie. What are you selling this time?”
Taken aback, she asked me why I said that. Honestly and with a smile I said, “Because the only time you call is when you’re selling something or you want a favor. So I thought I’d just save you the time.” It was coupon books this time, and no, I didn’t buy one.