We are rapidly approaching the end of our first year of business here at Spirit Consulting. I give one hundred percent of the credit for this wonderful accomplishment to our Creator and the team of professionals surrounding me. The transition from partner at my previous firm to CEO of Spirit Consulting has brought a unique set of challenges. Whereas, I was usually the one asking for business a year ago, I now find myself in the buyer’s seat more often. In the process, I have gained a healthy sense of empathy for the busy executives whom I was chasing in my earlier consulting days.
One of the first things I noticed with my shiny new CEO title was that I receive about two invitations to connect from service and product providers per day. Some are quite compelling and can now claim me as their client. Others are more obtrusive and were not awarded my business. It’s this second group that has me writing today.
I saw a marketing video the other day in which the consultant recommended that those in sales ought to vary their mode of outreach until a contract is awarded. Based on my experience over this past year, that is terrible advice. If you are both out of sync with the needs of my business and annoying in your approach, it doesn’t matter how many ways you try to reach out to me – you are never going to win my business.
With the market saturation of sales tutelage and eager entrepreneurs, it’s all too easy to ignore people and treat them like they don’t exist. Worse yet, on platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, I can accept your friendship or connection request – making myself look better in the process – without any intent to communicate with you after that. I’ve done it too often myself. There is a more humane approach.
If we are unwilling to respond to someone’s messages, it’s probably better not to accept his or her invitation in the first place. Why give someone false hope? This is textbook using another person, and it’s not good for either party in the end. I’ve been on the other side of it, and it’s not fun. Furthermore, the mixed message is only going to increase the likelihood that you receive more of my unwanted communications.
If you do choose to connect with the seller, then share some feedback, close the loop, say hi – give them something for that +1! It takes less than a minute, saves both of you a lot more time, annoyance, frustration, and who knows – maybe that initial conversation will grow into a significant business and/or personal relationship in the future! But if you avoid conflict and communication repeatedly when the stakes are low, odds are good that those bad habits are going to creep into your relationships with loved ones too. In the interest of helping to build and strengthen the human community rather than contribute to its deterioration and weakening, I have found it helpful to hearken back to my early days as a budding salesperson as a way to remind me of what a huge difference that extra minute of my time can make in someone’s career and life. May we continually grow this kindness in our lives, our businesses, and our world.
About Spirit Consulting
Spirit Consulting is a boutique management consulting firm with clients across multiple industries and regions of the United States. We offer expert consulting in Executive Search, Business Strategy, and Work Psychology. Rooted in our relational, client-tailored approach, these service lines work synergistically to maximize your organization’s potential. Call (630) 621-3411 or email [email protected] for more information on how Spirit Consulting can help create the best version of your business. If you are interested in applying to jobs we are retained on, please visit www.spiritmco.com.