Why Would We Want To?
Approaching Friends and Family – WHY???
(Continued from Part 1)
- Genuine humility and graciousness are strengths, not weaknesses. Taking this posture allows you to LEARN. A person who thinks they know it all, can’t learn or benefit from their mistakes. Pay close attention to your internal reactions and be brutally honest with yourself.
If their answer of “no” was not acceptable to you, then it was not really a question.
It was instead a demand, veiled as a question.
After they have enough information to make a decision, respect their decline of your offer.
People always maintained the right to say no.
Respect them as you would want to be respected.
We wouldn’t want to feel the pressure of a demand from someone we care about. Why do that to another person? Operate through integrity and accept either a yes or no with graciousness. It’s not only the mature and classy way to go, it maintains relationships. Even without a sale happening, everyone preserves their dignity.
As you can tell, these rules may be more difficult to apply to friends and family due to history and interpersonal dynamics. However, if you can master these rules with friends and family, you can apply them easily with the general public.
How Do You Approach Friends and Family When They Know You Are Selling Something?
One direct tactic is to disarm them with your honesty. There is no shame in stating the truth with something like this: “Uncle Harry, I’m starting this business and I need practice, whether you turn out to be interested or not, it’s important for me to get in all the practice I can as soon as I can. I believe in this and I just need you to listen, be patient, and be a practice customer for me. Will you do that for me? No harm, no foul?” (Or something similar that fits your communication style).
They may well be honored you asked for their help and that your approach is so direct and genuine. But now what if you have been using this approach and you have had quite a few successes with your friends and family. And well, since your friends and family may well all know one another – they talk. So if they haven’t heard your pitch yet, they know it’s coming.
You don’t want to seem disingenuous, so how do you adapt your approach? You might try something like this: “I don’t know if you’ve heard from everyone, but a while back I started this new endeavor, and it’s going pretty well, but my performance is not where I want to be yet. I need more practice, and who knows, you might even become a customer, if so that’s ok too, but mostly I just need to … (fill in the blank with what area you want to work on with your presentation, FAQs, etc).
Notice you did NOT LIE. You didn’t act like you were still brand new. Rather, you asked for help with honing your skill and you planted the seed that they might become a customer. You are, and will always be; a work in progress regardless of experience or earnings. From a statement like this, they will now know you will be pitching them, but it’s so low-key they shouldn’t feel any pressure, only the urge to support you with just letting you practice on them. It’s honest and respectful.
Stand sure-footed in your confidence that what you offer is of value to those who need it. All forms of sales are a numbers game with rejections and failures literally paving the road to success. Learn from your mistakes and let the numbers take care of themselves.
Above all, stay out of your own way. All the stress, negative self-talk, and made-up emotional obstacles along the way – they’re all unnecessary misdirections of energy.
TTWAU Brand Ambassador