What Your Business Can Learn From Online Dating.

You want secrets for meeting women/men online?  For business purposes of course!

Well, the most effective secret for meeting clients online is, start conversations. That is either with people that have responded to what you have posted, or vice versa. You responding to a post you have seen.

The approach is the same whatever your profession, solicitor, accountant, wealth manager etc. So let’s look at what you can learn from online dating.

The ‘secret sauce’ used for online dating is called Conversation Seeding.

I’m sure this scenario will be familiar to you. You share some posts or emails with a potential client. You have a useful initial conversation.  Phone numbers are exchanged. By the time you call, the client has gone cold. And you are left wondering where it all went wrong.

The truth is, you may have done nothing wrong, and it isn’t a reflection on your prospect. In most cases, this comes down to a case of comfort levels disappearing.

For whatever reason, the jargon your profession uses can make your specialism scary. Think about the big compliance statements we slap on our marketing like losing your house if you don’t pay your mortgage don’t help. No matter how true.

We have to be realistic; there is a lot more risk for anyone in dealing doing business with someone they haven’t met before.  After all, we are the generation that saw the global banking system almost fail in 2008.

So when we call new clients, they have to be completely comfortable and feel excited to take your call, otherwise, they won’t pick up or return your call.

The problem often occurs when contact disappears for a long time. No matter how good the conversations online were, these conversations are merely a blip on the radar of your client’s everyday life.

As days go by without talking, their comfort level with you reduces.

When we eventually make contact their comfort levels have dropped. They now fear the conversation will be uncomfortable, so they don’t pick up.

The Solution

Developing conversation seeds to keep comfort and trust high.

A conversation seed is developing an ‘in joke’ during your conversations, for the sole purpose of referring back to it at a later date. You are “planting the seeds” for a future conversation.

For example, I love telling stories about my wife telling me off as my “conversation seed.” They are fun, and we’ve all had them. In addition, they subconsciously communicate I am different from everyone else.

Just a word of caution, if you are actually going to use this for online dating, talking about your wife or husband may not be such a good idea.

So let’s say I make contact with a client online. I know that I need to demonstrate I am just like them. Sometimes I get into trouble at home.

I may tell one of my famous I forgot to tell my wife I had an evening networking meeting to go to and my dinner ended up in the dog. I will mention this during the conversation (or email), make a couple of jokes about it and move on.

However, my story is the seed and has been planted with my new client. I have created an inside joke.

After I receive their phone number. I will then send a brief email a couple hours later, “Okay, I’ve decided to give you my phone number, just promise you won’t make me work late.”

I have now referred back to the seed, and we can have small talk.

This will not only keep comfort levels high, but will bring our relationship from the online world into the real world.

I have also made the transition from the online world to someone who is in the client’s real life. Our clients’ reserve the phone for people that they are prepared to spend time with. So we are making an important subconscious transition to casual relationship to worth investing time in.

Finally, these seeds serve as “inside jokes” between me and my client. Since they are a unique joke that only we share, subconsciously they will feel as if we have a special relationship.

And that’s pretty much it. Remember, as I said in my previous post about online content, social media success is about how we communicate one-to-one; Not broadcast.

Author: Simon Ryan

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