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Turn off your ideas and listen

Listen To Your Clients Like  You Listen To Your Friends - All In!

Listen To Your Clients Like You Listen To Your Friends – All In!

Sharing your ideas can be great!  It can show people how your creative ideas can help solve their problems.  It can also create conversation that might lead to greater opportunities, and it might help someone in need who you feel the desire to help for free.  But when your talent is the gift of ideas, then your mind is your product, so be prepared in advance to know when to turn it off and just listen.

One of the most brutal lessons I learned when I started Social Nectar turned into a tremendous gift that I’ve been able to share with other budding entrepreneurs.  I’d been invited to lunch by a well known businessman which I gladly accepted in hopes of working with him to launch his new company.  The company located in Montana manufactures a highly specialized and somewhat controversial product which I was just dying to create a marketing strategy for.

Over lunch, I asked him about his new company and he was eager to share. Instead of simply listening, I met his enthusiasm with equal zealous, tossing out idea after idea hoping something would stick.  As lunch came to a close, I expected him to shake my hand and ask for a proposal.  Instead… he looked at me and said, “you have great  ideas, but you should know that I won’t be paying you a dime for what you just volunteered. Instead you’re getting a nice lunch and a great life lesson.” As my heart sank into my chest, he went on, “…in the future, I suggest that you throw out a couple of teasers and be prepared to ask me for my credit card before you go on.”  And with that, he paid for lunch, gave me a pleasant good bye, got up, and walked away.  I will never forget that guy, and I will always be grateful to him for that lesson.

So when you’re in front of a prospect, and you catch yourself giving away too many ideas, stop, and remember to listen. If they like what they’ve heard so far, they’ll find a way to pay you for a more developed idea or strategy.  I added a PayPal link to my website so that if I ever meet up with this gentlemen again, I can thank him for the lesson, then go to my website from my smartphone or tablet and hand him the link to my paypal account.  I’ve also used SquareUp which works well if you remember to have your device with you.

Connie Cermak

creative strategy  l  content marketing  l  social media  l  speaker

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