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I Wish We Met Sooner

February 25, 2010
by Scott Levitt ·  

Scott’s Thoughts: Wish I Met You Sooner
How do you get clients to say this and mean it?
“The human contribution is the essential ingredient. It is only in the giving of oneself to others that we truly live.” –Ethel Percy Andrus (Educator & founder of AARP, 1884 – 1967)

Is there someone in your life that makes you think: “I wish I met them sooner”?

Think of someone who you would probably miss if you didn’t hear from them for a long time. Someone who makes you marvel at how lucky you are that you met them.

Do any of your clients think of you this way?

If you’ve been at it for a long time, you probably have at least few clients that think of you this way.

They’re probably directly responsible for a lot of referrals, too. If you have clients that think of you this way, you will never have to worry about business. Your sellers will become your future buyers and together they’ll refer you more business than you can handle. Sounds like an admirable goal to shoot for, doesn’t it?

To be memorable, you should be indispensable. You must be someone who gives freely, someone who builds life-long bonds by enriching the lives of people with whom you have rapport.

So how do you do it?

1. Empathize with people. Imagine, as you’re listening to them, that they’re not describing their problems, questions, and dreams, but they’re describing your own. Make yourself the star of the movie of their life and be aware of how you would feel.

2. Be a part of the solution, even if you cannot solve the problem. Can you solve everybody’s problems? Of course not. But you might be able to help them to see a pathway through their problem. This might be in the form of questions that help them think something through. It could be a referral to someone who can help them with their problem. It could even be as simple as a list of good articles to consider.

3. Aim to counsel, don’t aim to please. An advisor is a true ally. A “yes man/woman” is completely forgettable (and untrustworthy). Risk short term rejection over a tough truth in order to grow a long term relationship.

4. Teach others how to teach themselves. Don’t just give answers. The more you can increase a client’s capacity to empower themselves, the more valuable your standing will be in their eyes. Think about it: Do you ever forget your mentors?

5. Give without anticipating return. If you’re running a little cost/benefit analysis in your head for every interaction, you’re not giving freely. Hesitancy, a stinginess of spirit, and an unwillingness to risk without reward will always cost you more than you think.

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