Have you ever had a perfectly attractive, interesting friend who was totally desperate to find a date or mate? So much so that anywhere you went together, they’d constantly be eyeing the options, flirting heavily, or chasing hard after their “object d’amour” of the moment? Yet for all their efforts, they were still spending far too many weekend nights home alone…
We’ve all seen people stuck in this vicious cycle of getting their hopes up and going after someone, only to be turned away time and again. Why does this happen? Chances are a good part of the reason is that they reek of desperation!
Let’s face it, few people like to be chased that hard…especially in the beginning. Instead, most people like to do the chasing.
Plus, desperation makes other people wonder “what’s wrong with you?” When in reality there might not be anything “wrong” per se…other than the fact that people who are that desperate often also lack self-confidence (at least partly from being turned down so much…sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy).
The same holds true when it comes to your business. If you get turned down enough times, it can be hard to stay positive. And when your bank account starts running low it’s easy to feel that creeping sense of desperation and start chasing after customers. The thing is, your prospects can feel it too.
Trust me when I say, “This is not helping you land clients or make sales!”
Instead, you’ve gotta do the same thing smart daters do and play a little “hard to get”.
What I’m going to tell you next may go against your nature, especially if you’re one of those folks who’s always willing to take on another project or has trouble saying no. But stick with me here, and I’ll show you 5 simple ways to change the game and get prospects to chase you!
5 Ways to Get Prospects to Chase You
1) Stop Answering Your Phone
Remember voice mail? That feature still exists and you should make full use of it. Being “always available” gives the impression you don’t have enough business to keep you busy. Just make sure to return messages in 24 hours or less.
2) Create a Time Buffer
If you’re a consultant, designer or other service provider, schedule appointments, phone meetings and/or project start dates a minimum of two weeks out. This may not always work if you’re a doctor or dentist, but for most service providers it works beautifully.
Doing this makes you look like you’re in demand. Plus it gives you more time to focus on growing your business because you’re not always in reactionary mode trying to fit in one more thing.
3) Quit Giving Away the Farm
When you’re desperate for money, it’s easy to start discounting your prices. Don’t. If clients want to pay less, that may be fine. But they should get less in return.
4) Ditto Offering Free Advice in Person
Skip the “get to know you” coffee meetings and free consults. Clients may think your time and expertise must not be very valuable if you’re always giving them away for free. So even if they do end up hiring you, they’ll likely turn into time vampires and bleed you dry.
5) Screen and Filter
You should not work with just anybody. Make sure prospects are going to be a good fit for you with a questionnaire and/or a 15-20 minute phone call. If you’re a service provider, have them visit your Website, download free materials, or purchase a product, before you’ll even consider working with them one-on-one. When you won’t sell to or work with just anyone, you’re saying you’re in demand and can afford to pick and choose. This only makes you more enticing (again, it’s like playing “hard to get”). Besides, when you work with the wrong people you’re both likely to be unhappy. And you’re going to lose money and reputation as a result. When the right people hire you or buy your products, you’re both gonna be happy and more successful.
So just like finding a mate, be choosy with clients. And don’t be afraid to play a little “hard to get”!