I am usually the one consulting, but sometimes I am also a buyer of consulting services. My consultant on all things related to Digital Marketing is Chad Barr – CB Software Systems. He is emphatically my partner in growing my business and his advice and services have proven to be of tremendous value. I’m so accustomed to his style that I was taken aback recently when meeting with another person, who I will describe here as an “alleged consultant.”

What happened?

1.My colleagues and I we were told about a problem we have in the first five minutes. The comment was judgmental and psychological in nature. I am a psychologist so if you are going to come at me with that level of analysis, you better have your stuff together. Strike One!

2. The lead consultant interrupted us – repeatedly. Rude – Foul ball.

3. We heard “bla, bla, bla” about them. Annoying but by this point, my expectations are so lowered that it doesn’t seem so bad. Ground ball no one cares to pick up.

This is seriously bad selling and brand destroying for sure. Why?

1. Most clients are not so damaged that you need to put your finger on “the problem” in the first five minutes. There is no award for being psychic and no substitute for showing respect.    

2. If you are sitting with a prospect, it is because they want help with something. If that is not the case and they are merely toying with you – get up and leave. Otherwise, calm down and stop trying to show off. Listen and learn. The prospect wants to talk about their situation, not yours.

3. If what you have to say is so important that you must interrupt someone you JUST MET to say it, why don’t I see you on CNN? Poor social judgment is not attractive.

4. For goodness sake, ask me about my business and stop telling me about yours. I will know how good you are by the quality of questions you ask and how you synthesize my responses. Weave your experiences into the conversation – I don’t want a show. It’s so predictable as to be laughable.

5. Think about building a relationship, not trying to maneuver me into buying something. Feeling manipulated is something people have a reliable way of not liking.

The confident and competent person engages in conversation with a prospective client or customer as a peer and colleague. If you try to trick or maneuver me, I suspect you are shallow. Even if I am not conscious of it, I have a nagging feeling of lack of trust. This is deadly to a partnership, the very thing you need to cultivate.

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