Step One: When Two Really Isn’t Better Than One
Step One: When's the last time you said or heard someone say, “Two is better than one”?
There are certain things where this statement certainly rings true. For instance, when you're talking about:
However, there are instances where two really isn't better than one. Here are a few things where one is definitely better than two:
- client payments (being paid in full is always preferred)
- missed appointments
- business cards
You might have already made some assumptions about why I added business cards to my list. Let's see if we're on the same page.
Recently while attending an event, a woman I was in conversation with reached into her purse and pushed her business card into my hand. I didn't ask for her business card, she thrust it at me. When I looked down I noticed she had actually given me two business cards.
For my regular readers, you might already know I'm not a fan of handing out business cards unsolicited. In the last year, I've given out less than 20 business cards. I only hand out a business card if someone requests it. The reason being, if we have a need/desire to connect further, I initiate scheduling time on our calendars during our conversation to speak again. I refuse to collect business cards with the idea that “someday” I'm going to call someone. We're either both interested in the moment of deepening our connection or we're not. It's easy to find and connect with people on social media so business cards seem somewhat outdated at this point.
Back to my story of the woman handing me two business cards. I assumed she made a mistake and commented on the fact that she gave me two and tried to hand one back to her. Her response was, “No, please keep it and pass it along to someone who needs my services.”
We're Not There Yet
Her response was an instant turn-off. We just met and she acts as if I'm going to be an ambassador for her business. Why in the world would I do that? And why in the world would she be so presumptuous?
She was a sweet woman and obviously, she could use some advanced business-building skills. Handing out multiple business cards comes off as desperate and salesy. It's a sure-fire way to wreck any rapport you've built with someone.
Skipping Steps: Don't Skip Step One
When meeting someone for the first time, you are on step one of the Selling Staircase (The Selling Staircase is my framework for teaching Relationship Selling Skills). Step one of the Selling Staircase is Introduction. The Introduction step is for creating a powerful first impression. It isn't the time to be asking someone you've just met to do you a solid.
Too many people are trying to skip steps in the business building/selling process and this is why their business is floundering. It's the equivalent of meeting someone for the first time and within five minutes, they're asking to have access to the contacts in your phone so they can sell to them. It's unlikely you'd hand over your phone to someone you just met. So why would you expect someone who doesn't know you to hand out your business cards for you? It's a ridiculous ask.
Build Rapport First
Building a business is no different than building relationships, both take time and effort. Be willing to invest the time to get to know people and allow them to get to know you. Don't ask people you don't have a relationship with to do things on your behalf. Don't skip step one.
In the Sales Maven Society, these types of questions come up often: when and how to ask for help on building business. Someone asked me recently, “What is the main purpose of the Sales Maven Society?” My response was, “To teach people how to sell better. So many people are doing it poorly and there's just no excuse. I've put together a robust membership with training on all things sales, build a platform where all questions are welcome and have members that are there to not only learn, they are there to support each other.” Amazing things are happening for the members and it's an honor every day to engage and share techniques with the members.
You're invited to join this group of business professionals committed to building their businesses and growing their revenue with relationship selling skills that work. Join now
Wishing you continued success in all that you're doing.