Business is like dating. It’s a dance, a series of moves, part strategic and part serendipitous. How on earth do we navigate that? As we embark on the month of finding money in our networking follow up, a personal story comes to mind.
My dating mantra was the following: “I will always have a good time or a good story”. This one is my favorite.
A successful NYC doctor asked me on a date and I accepted. We planned to go to the movies on a Tuesday night, followed by dinner. He told me to arrive an hour and 15 minutes early. No way. I said no, I’ll be there 20 minutes before it starts. When I arrived he had purchased the tickets, popcorn, and a bottle of water for me. As he selfishly crunched away on his popcorn, I turned to him randomly and said, “sure, I’d love some” and jammed my hand in the bag of popcorn. We went to dinner. I ordered soup and salad and he ordered a full on steak dinner. The check came. He sat staring at it. He started mumbling “tickets, popcorn, water…you owe me $33.75”. I was stunned. I just subsidized this guy’s meal and he was charging me to the penny. So I went home and vowed never to go out with him again.
Four days later, I received an envelope from him. Inside was a note written on is Rx pad that said, “I miscalculated and charged you too much,” accompanied by a $10 bill. Henceforth my date with him is dubbed as the “rebate date”. In this case, the money was literally in the follow-up.
This month’s workshop is about how to grow our business through follow-up. How many times did you go on a date that you thought went well and then the phone never rang (not that we, as empowered women, couldn’t make the call)? How do you think our potential clients feel when they spend time with you, listening to your pitch, reading your proposal, researching your company, only to receive a cold, form email that says “just checking in…” (Or “hey, I charged you too much”, in my case)? Be thoughtful and strategic about how and when you engage after meeting someone.