Preparation, doing my homework, polishing the shoes and turning up in time for the appointment ready and eager to produce this great sale.
Arriving ten minutes early I thought I was on top of my game plan.
I parked and found the building and commenced looking for the office on the 5th floor - only to find there was not one! Time was ticking and this was before the days of mobile phones so I had no way to call the office for clarification.
Anyway, twenty fruitless minutes later I headed back to the office and was greeted by plenty of laughter and the cry "April's fool!" But there is another lesson that I picked up along the way - and that is that the best jokes are the ones we play on ourselves! One of the biggest jokes is in how we find sales leads and lead generation opportunities.
Why is it that we constantly hunt high and low for new business (at no small cost) and then put such effort into convincing them (also at great expense) that our product is the answer they are looking for.
Don't be a fool this April! You have a mountain of business sitting right in front of you in your own client base.
Better yet, it costs very little to access this wonderful source of new opportunities, converts a lot more easily and stays loyal longer.
But you have to let them know that this is how you do business.
Make sure you announce it at every possible opportunity: oPut the fact that you want referrals on all your business cards.
oHave it prominently in your newsletters - stories about happy clients recommending their friends and others.
oSuccess stories that stem from a friend caring enough about someone else to introduce them to you and the happy outcome.
oIntroduce the referral theme at the beginning of conversations so that you can come back to it later.
oMake special appointments with existing clients specifically to talk about them.
The big point here is that before you can gain referrals you need to let people know it is how you want to do business...
or is it your turn to be an April fool?