The other week I was faced with a dilemma: how to help a client reach an influential person in their industry who could change the course of their career. We had sent several emails with no response. It had been suggested to me by others in their industry that I send a somewhat nasty email “that is what I do to get that person to respond” one person told me. I did not care to be nasty. It is not my style and I do not advocate it for my clients either. My attitude is that if you do something unusual and unexpected you can get someone’s attention in a positive way thus advancing your cause.
Now we only had to figure out the right way to grab the “prospect’s” attention. This same concept applies in any industry and to any sales situation. If you find a creative way to reach your prospect they are more likely to want to hear you out. In this particular case the two people were on opposite sides of an ocean. This meant that my client could not invite the prospective project partner out for a cup of coffee or a lunch. Instead I came up with the following solution. I found a handmade, one of a kind, ceramic coffee mug – not of the promotional variety, wrote a note about wanting to talk to them over a cup of coffee and packaged the whole thing in a gift box. We then mailed off the package and shortly there after the client received the following email:
I have to say I love the way you think and present yourself. I was out of the office, but upon my return I found a package from you with a lovely handcrafted coffee cup inside. This was brilliant on so many levels, which I shared with my team. It was thoughtful, imaginative and sits on my desk as a reminder of our partnership.
Please let me know when you’re available for a call or can you always reach me on my mobile …
Success! The client then had the phone conversation and the partnership on the project is on its way.
The takeaway lesson from this incident is that if you are creative and nice you can get much further than being humdrum and routine, and certainly further than being nasty.
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