Been thinking about this topic a lot lately. Attracting vs closing business are definitely distinct and I think closing is much harder. One of the interesting catch-22's I've noticed is that we all know networking the right way means developing relationships and often times, becoming friends, with the people who work for the businesses we are trying to attract. People not only work with other people. But they work with people they know and trust. And you have to be somewhat friendly with people to know and trust them.
That said, I think it can often be harder to sell to people with whom you are friendly. Because you know that being sold to can be an awkward situation and one you may not like yourself. And now you are putting a friend in that situation. Yes, it helps if you believe what you're selling will help the person/company. But it still isn't without awkwardness. Because friendships and trust are not inherently built on sales and selling.
Part of this comment comes from me trying to become more comfortable selling. And you can probably tell that. But I do think it's funny how sometimes selling to someone you don't know can feel much easier because you don't know enough about that person to feel awkward if it doesn't work out. But the fact that you don't know that much about them could keep the sale from being effective or your pitch from even being heard. Ok, done rambling. Probably going to blog on this topic soon. Thoughts?
@JGoldsborough What a TERRIFIC comment!
"One of the interesting catch-22's I've noticed is that we all know networking the right way means developing relationships and often times, becoming friends, with the people who work for the businesses we are trying to attract." Yes, it is indeed a catch-22. Here are my thoughts: I don't try to become friends with people only because of the businesses they own/work for or, to carry that thought further, because of their status as A-list "influencers," bloggers, etc. If I did that, I'd feel absolutely repugnant to myself.
That's why there are a ton of people I have a passing acquaintanceship with, but it hasn't gone further than that. I know for myself, when I get a note/call/tweet/whatever completely out of the blue, I can't help but look for the hidden meaning... does this person really want to catch up with me, or is it just that they're suddenly out of a job/looking for a new job/whatever, and they think I can help? Usually it's the latter. I'd much rather get to know people with no ulterior motive whatsoever, because it's usually pretty obvious when there is one.
I don't know if it's harder to sell to people with whom you're friendly, though I can certainly see why it might be. I think maybe it's making the decision of *what* one is going to try to sell them on, and if ever I am in a position where I need to do that, I'd probably come right out and say it, rather than beat around the bush.
Justin, you're a terrific sales person. Really. Because you do it the *right* way, IMHO at least. You're not just out to see what's in it for you; you try to see and show what's in it for them.