“We’re waiting for Godot.”
~ Samuel Beckett
Paralysis by Analysis and Other Related Problems
I remember my frustration in high school when we had to study this play.
I mean, the chap doesn’t do anything.
He just waits… And waits… And waits… Who acts like that?
Oops! It happens all the time in business and sales and it is incredibly destructive.
Don’t get me wrong…
- Analysis is important… Especially after you have results to analyse;
- Quality affects your reputation… But it’s not only measured in one way;
- Timing is everything… Not yet is deadly.
There’s a popular business quotation: “You cannot manage what you do not measure.”
It’s true. Even more true is this variant: “You cannot manage if there is nothing to measure.”
Let’s use your introduction as an example of how this works because it’s just as true when you are face-to-face with someone at in-person or virtual networking events, connecting with someone on LinkedIn, or calling someone on the phone. Without a consistent introduction (which may vary depending on your context and audience) you will never really know why people don’t pay attention to you.
It’s not until you have a framework that you use consistently that you can evaluate:
- What interests people about you and your offer;
- Whether the appropriate people are interested;
- How you can increase their interest;
- What the outcome of that interest is likely to be;
This is especially important to growing businesses who want to take control of their growth.
The Bait Trap
There are a couple of key problems you could face with your introduction and this is just as true whether your introduction is verbal, written, or some kind of lead magnet or attraction tool:
- Fishing Trawler Syndrome: Casting a great big net and collecting everything in your path is expensive and demotivating. Just like a trawler, you fish until the net is full, then you come back to shore full of excitement, but when you sift through the catch there are only four or five fish that are worth keeping. If your introduction is designed to appeal to ‘everyone’ you’re simply making your work harder.
- Wrong Bait: Investing in an exciting new conversation-opener, lead magnet, tool, or opportunity only to discover that the people you talk to aren’t interested at all can be demoralising. It’s even worse when put all your faith in that one thing and don’t stop to check if it’s working by measuring your results.
- Wrong Audience: Talking to people who can’t afford or don’t need your solution is frustrating for anyone. If you don’t have a consistent way of introducing yourself, or set aside time to analyse the outcomes you cannot tell whether you are talking to the right people or not.
Once you have a framework, a plan, and some data, you’ll be in a position to analyse the results. Until then, focus on taking action.
I was working with an in-house sales team last year and once we’d covered this 5 of the 8 team members suddenly realised that they could predict the outcome of any conversation within a few minutes. This was especially powerful at conferences and networking events and suddenly their sales commissions sky-rocketed.
Two of the others were struggling to refine their introductions and wouldn’t commit to consistently testing so they could discover what worked. They were frustrated by the success of their colleagues, but couldn’t find the discipline to stick to the process. The last member of the team was fixated on creating the ‘perfect introduction’. At least, that was what she said. For whatever reason, what did was virtually nothing… And her results reflected her inaction.
Commit or Quit
If you have fishing trawler syndrome, then it’s time to QUIT that practice. You can’t afford the financial or energy-sapping drain on your business this causes. What you lose by focusing on a single market (type of fish), you gain in profitability, simplicity, and results. You can add markets later, once you have a system running in the first one.
If you have a bait problem it’s easy to take it personally, but that’s a dangerous road to go down. Make sure the people you are offering it to really are your ideal clients. If they’re not interested determine whether it is the thing itself, the way it is presented, or the hood you’re using that is the problem. Based on the information, you decide to tweak or QUIT your bait.
It’s easy to misdiagnose an audience problem as a bait problem. At one time I thought that mothers who were returning to the workforce would be a great target audience for my Confident Closing course. They certainly had a problem that the course solved, many of them had an interest as well. But they weren’t interested in investing in a solution. When I QUIT trying to talk to the wrong people about the course, I realised that I had had an audience problem. However, I’ve talked to others who completely rejigged their product in response to an audience problem and then discovered that it didn’t help.
When you COMMIT to the research and reinvention it takes to slice and dice your market, find irresistible bait, and focus on the audience who is looking for your solution you transform your results. In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to manage and measure your lead flow and sales outcomes so you’re not dependent on government regulations or other forces outside your control.
What Can You Control
How you introduce yourself and attract attention is particularly important right now. You can’t control the entire sales process, but you can control how you introduce yourself so that you make yourself especially attractive to your ideal prospects and are either ‘interesting’ or ‘repellant’ to everyone else…
Do it right and your ideal prospects will put up their hand and respond to you so that you don’t have to do the chasing…
That changes everything. It means that you no longer have to wait for Godot – or anyone else. You are in control and you can adjust the flow through your sales pipeline however you wish!
You used existing data to determine your actions so you could quit guessing and commit to a course of action that got results.
When was the last time you looked closely at the way you introduce yourself in a business context and actually used data to test your opinions?
If you’re like many people, it has been quite some time.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- If you’re honest with yourself, does your elevator pitch create curiosity and interest… Or just a polite response?
- Do you actually have a pitch prepared…Or do you just create a response on the fly
- Can you tell me, with accurate certainty, how many of your introductions lead to appointments, and what the ratio between appointments and sales is?
A powerful elevator pitch is just one of the critical elemental that can transform your ability to attract your ideal clients easily and effortlessly and dramatically accelerate your profitability and business satisfaction.
Stop waiting for the right people to find you…
Set the right bait…
In front of the right people…
And watch the magic unfold.