My 18-month-old likes to walk home from school.
She tucks Lammy under her arm,
sticks her binky in her mouth,
and double fists her snack trap of Cheerios and a sippy cup.
It’s quite a juggling act to get a Cheerio into her mouth.
Sometimes she drops one.
If she notices, she usually drops several more in the process of picking up the first one.
One windy day I watched a Cheerio land on edge and go careening down Boylston Street.
A Trail of Cheerios
She’s learning how to walk home.
The Cheerios tell the story.
Where she turned.
Where she stopped to watch the birds on the bird feeder.
Where the wind knocked her over.
So are your prospects.
They are juggling multiple priorities.
They have too much on their mind.
They meander towards you.
They get distracted by:
Text messages from their kids
How do you keep them on track?
1. Follow the Cheerios
Prospects constantly leave clues.
They never respond to phone messages…
… and reply to emails within the hour.
They won’t commit to a deadline…
… until they feel the urgency.
You tell them about one product…
… and they express interest in another.
One early client told me that he had worked with other business coaches.
He signed up with me because he’d never heard of an Elevator Pitch Coach.
At the time, Elevator Pitch Coaching was not part of my marketing.
It is now…
What attracts clients to your business?
2. Safety First
I don’t care that she’s dropping Cheerios.
That’s a non-catastrophic mistake while learning to walk home.
More important to keep her out of the street.
More important to protect her from strangers.
I set the boundaries so she can meander home. Safely.
Your prospects will forget appointments.
They will string you along.
It’s all part of the sales process.
Protect them as they wander.
Offer a guiding hand when asked.
Always be within arms reach.
I called a prospect every 2 weeks for 6 months.
I almost gave up several times.
But he seemed sincere.
He always took my calls.
He always had an excuse to put if off.
He always asked for another call.
Now he’s one of my best customers.
How do you ensure your prospect’s safety?
3. Find the Groove
Over time, my daughter will be less distracted.
She’ll stay out of the street and be skeptical of strangers.
On her own.
As your Elevator Pitch improves,
Your prospects will be less distracted.
They will find their way to your door.
Ready to buy.
That’s when the fun begins.
That’s when you can really help.
One day, I’ll hug my daughter at the door.
I’ll breathe a sign of relief.
Yet on that day, my real work begins.
Only 15 years until she learns to drive…
How do you bring prospects safely to your door?
6 comments on “A Trail of Cheerios”
Your example on follow up sounds quite familiar…in fact I believe it’s me you talking about. As we spoke during the process, you shared with me the ‘buying’ signals I was giving off and I appreciated the guidance to your services as the timing worked out for us.
You definitely used a soft touch based upon my wishes for connecting – too aggressive and we probably would not have become a client. You truly practice what you preach.
Thank you, we are in a much better place now because of ImprovAndy, and as a bonus, we are now able to keep our Cheerios out of the street!
Thank you for the testimonial and for putting a name and a face to the story. It’s so exciting that since joining our coaching program you have delegated the day-to-day management of your business and can now focus where you always wanted: on new business development.
Keep up the good work!
I enjoy how you cleverly relate your everyday experiences, particularly with your daughters, to elevator pitches. These are fun to read and offer great nuggets of information.
And… your calling a prospect every 2 weeks for 6 months is pretty outrageous. It’s great to hear how that turned out! You certainly stayed the course and ensured that that person also stayed the course and kept in relationship with him/her.
Thanks for the feedback. This is definitely an example of the exception proving the rule. I wanted to clarify that there were two specific reasons I kept calling this client beyond all reasonable follow up protocol. First, he kept taking my calls. However, sometimes people will take your calls and string you along just because they are too polite to say no. So the second and more important reason I kept following up is that every other time on the phone I offered him an easy out for me to stop calling him if the program wasn’t for him. He kept assuring me that he wanted the program and was just working out the timing. It turns out he was true to his word!
Great piece on staying the course as your prospects wander around their lives. Sometimes it takes a few years for them to turn around and say, “I need you now.” Persistence pays off. If someone truly doesn’t want to ever work with you, they’ll let you know by their actions. Then you can move on.
It’s a courtship, for sure …
I appreciate the feedback. Everyone is so busy and preoccupied that it’s an ongoing challenge to get our message to resonate at the right time for the right prospect, whether that’s today or several years from now. Like any good courtship, the key is to stay in touch according to the schedule of the other person. Every 2 weeks for 6 months felt like too much to me. It was absolutely right for my client.