“They were stunned by the audacity of the gentleman's proposal”

When I was single, I noticed an interesting phenomenon in San Francisco. I didn’t think much of it at first, but it stuck after I noticed it a few more times.

Every now and then, I’d see an attractive girl at the bar all by herself. Maybe she was early and her friends hadn’t arrived, or she was waiting for her drink. For some time, she’d be all alone and no one makes any attempt to approach her.

You see, many guys here are shy. They’re intimidated by girls. And it’s not that there aren’t any guys. There’re many of them. You would see them eyeing from the shadows with a drink in hand, as if the building would collapse if they stopped leaning on the walls. Then at last, one guy would muster the courage to say Hi. But what’s interesting is what happened after…

Somehow, when other guys noticed that she was no longer alone, it made it okay for them to approach her too. They felt safe. And one after another, these guys would appear like cockroaches out of the woodwork and swarm the poor girl.

It didn’t take long before she became flustered and annoyed. She probably even felt a little dirty (but not in a good way). You’d see her get increasingly uncomfortable in her face and body language… she’d clutch her belongings closer and scan the room to plot her escape.

The 13th guy with a sleazy pickup line would then get a knee in the groin, just because he was the last straw.

And yet, this is the crime that almost all businesses commit. You see it in ads, business cards, signs, websites… everywhere: “HI WE ARE BESTCOMPANYINTHEWORLD INC, ME ME ME ME ME, THE BEST SINCE 1802”— followed by a list of products and services embellished with superlatives, then —“LIMITED TIME OFFER 50% OFF HURRY ACT NOW BUY NOW!!!”

Whoa whoa whoa. At least buy me a drink first.

That’s like meeting someone for the first time and the first thing out of the guy’s mouth is “Will you marry me?”.

And that is how NOT to introduce yourself.

The mistake is that businesses get so caught up with what they want, that they forget about what their people want. To a prospect, you’re a stranger. The natural reaction is “Who are you? I don’t know you and I don’t trust you.” “What’s in it for me?”

If you’re selling something cheap like a candy bar or cookies, then sure you may bully people into a sale like Girl Scouts do. But for higher-ticket items that require more trust, the relationship needs to unfold naturally, one step at a time.

Your prospect wasn’t born yesterday. She’s not a virgin — it’s not the first time she’s bought anything in her life. She’s also probably been hurt before and has some baggage — she’s been ripped off, bought something she regretted, paid too much, etc.

That’s the reality of the people you meet. Each one’s a person, like you and me — someone with a past and a history. You have to acknowledge that, and that’s the context you must operate from all the time.

So LISTEN. Understand their pain. Their problems, frustrations, doubts, fears. What keeps them up at night. What gives them cold sweats and chest pains. Then learn about their dreams, hopes, aspirations. Where they want to be, who and what they’re doing this for. How they wish their lives were better. Find their REAL, emotional, primal, and secret reasons for doing what they do.

For example, say a woman decides she wants to work out. Many businesses may assume she just wants to lose weight. So they excitedly offer, “lose weight in 30 days”. But that’s not good enough. You can do much better. Dig DEEPER.

She might then reveal that she wants to look good in a bikini. This makes some other businesses excited and say, “Summer’s coming, get a perfect bikini body in 4 weeks”. But that’s still not good enough. DEEPER.

Now she reveals that she’s really doing this for herself, she’s always been self-conscious about her body and she wants to feel more confident. Still not good enough! DEEPER!

With a quivering lip, a shaky voice and tears in her eyes she reveals that her mom just passed away and that revived her struggle with emotional eating; plus she finally dumped her emotionally abusive asshole ex-boyfriend. And instead sulking at home with ice cream, she feels surprisingly liberated — she’s decided to make this year the best year of her life and be in the best shape she’s ever been. She looks forward to feeling confident in her own skin (and taking satisfaction in the look on her ex’s face when she accidentally purposely runs into him again).

Yes. That’s what we’re looking for.

The point is there are “reasons” that people use to explain their decisions, and then there are the real reasons.

The real reasons are almost never revealed. They hide in the deep, dark, heavily guarded corners of their hearts and minds. If you think you found the real reasons, but you got them without heavy resistance… you haven’t found them yet. The real reasons are often things people don’t feel comfortable talking about, or are too ashamed to admit. They’re never easy to get, and it’s never about things like product, service, feature or benefit.

It’s always about something more.

You must uncover the real reasons. Without them, all your propositions will slide off your prospects like water off a duck.

With this, we are ready to design your ideal relationship that seduces and earns the trust of your most valuable customers.

But first: the Secret to getting anything you want