This is a guest post by entrepreneur, professional drummer, speaker, and consultant, Mike Veny.
A few years ago, someone approached me at the Small Business Summit. Although I don’t remember the exact words of our conversation, here’s how I recalled the beginning of our conversation:
Woman: “I love your pink Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers.”
Woman: “I bet you get lots of compliments on those.”
Me: “Sometimes… pink is my color. I really wanna get pink sparkle ones.”
Woman: “It takes a really confident man to wear pink. So what do you do?”
“I’m a drummer
. I hit stuff and people pay me money.”
“That sounds fun. I own a social media
company. We should set up a time to talk about your social media plan. I have tons of musician clients who I’ve been able to help grow their presence on Facebook
She proceeded to go on and on about herself and her social media company. Although she was a very nice person, this felt fake to me because I felt like she used a compliment just to get my attention and pitch her service to me. Needless to say, she didn’t get my business.
Complimenting my pink sneakers got my attention, but it felt like a pitching pick up line. Whether it’s at a networking event, a cold call I receive, or someone who approaches me on the street, I find myself turned off by “pitching pickup lines.” It’s almost as if my social radar alerts me internally by saying, “SALES PITCH…STEER CLEAR!”
Pitching, when done right, is kind of like flirting. When I think of the stereotypical scenario for traditional flirting, I picture a guy a approaching a girl with a really good pick up line. Done at a bar, this may lead to something, but more often then not, the result is rejection, laughter, and a dirty look. (Just being honest guys) If flirting isn’t about “pick up lines”, then what is it about? Effective flirting is accomplished by making someone feel comfortable and good about themselves in your presence. I also believe that this is the key to effective pitching.
Here are 3 ways to make people you meet feel comfortable and good about themselves in your presence:
- Learn to be comfortable in your own skin. When you are comfortable with yourself, you naturally attract people to you. This is a process that takes time, attention, and maybe even some counseling.
- Approach people only inf you are really interested in them. Notice that I didn’t say, “show interest” in other people, but be interested. People can pick this up a mile away. “Showing interest” is fake and people pick it up right away.
- Stay focused on the person you are talking to and make them feel important. Whenever I saw one of my clients at an event, I noticed that he was always 100% focused on the person he was talking with, as if no one else was in the room. He has a reputation of making everyone feel important. I asked him how he got so good at making people feel so important. His response was, “Because when I’m talking to you, you are the most important person to me.”
It’s important to remember that we live in a time when people are bombarded with sales pitches and advertisements from the moment they wake up in the morning until the moment they fall asleep at night. Because of this, people are more guarded then ever before. John Jantsch said that it’s important for people to know you, then like you, then trust you. This is why making people you meet feel comfortable is so important.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou
Master the 3 suggestions above, and pitching will be effortless. In meeting new people
, if you discover where to buy pink sparkle Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers, then please let me know. If these tips help you find a romantic partner, even better.
*Drummer, entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, Mike Veny has been able to parlay his love of music, and of drumming in particular, into multiple successful career paths and charitable endeavors. For more information on Mike Veny, visit MikeVeny.com. Mike Veny is sponsored by Gretsch Drums & Toca Percussion.