In a recent study of lobbyists it was discovered that in almost every conceivable way lobbyists were just like the rest of the population. Â They weren’t any smarter, faster on their feet, or better negotiators. Â They did have one factor in common however, they all shared an extremely high tolerance for rejection. Â Tolerating rejection is an incredibly important thing online and off. Â But what does it have to do with engagement?
There is a myth out there that the secret to success online is engagement, but that is really only a half truth. Â The secret to success online is effective engagement. Â What is the difference? Â Effective engagement requires that you actually put yourself on the line. Â And that requires the possibility of being rejected. Â Nobody likes being rejected, but the great lobbyists and salesmen can tolerate it. Â In a practical sense this means they are willing to ask for the close. Â Some call this pushy, or obnoxious but at the end of the day those who ask, receive.
Let me give you a couple of situations and provide examples of engagement versus effective engagement:
Your at a cocktail party when you meet a business person who mentions having clients that need your services:
Engagement: Give him your business card
Effective engagement: Schedule a time to take him to lunch in the next week to better understand the needs of his clients.
A potential client posts an interesting article on LinkedIN or Facebook:
Engagement: Clicking the “LIKE” button.
Effective engagement: Â Send them a personal email or message relating to the article, suggest a time to meet in person or over the phone to chat.
A potential referral source comments on your blog
Engagement: Send them a personal email, thanking them and encouraging them to come back again soon.
Effective engagement: Give them a call to thank them for the comment, and to find out how they stumbled on to your website.
I know what all of you are thinking, “I can’t do that! That would annoy people! That might turn people off!”
In every single one of these situations the engagement answer is safe, but all of the effective engagement examples provide an opportunity for people to say, “no, thanks.”
Not everyone has the guts or the tolerance for rejection to put themselves out there online and off, but if you can do it. Â If you can pick up the phone, or ask to set an appointment than you will have far more success online. Â You may also have a bright future in sales.