When I was in real estate there was this mega successful mortgage broker named Mari Mahoney. She did more business than any ten “successful” mortgage agents combined.
I asked her how she did it; what was her key to success. She rapidly responded with, “I lose one out of five for being too aggressive, but I get the other four!”
This statement, this philosophy, this testimony changed my life.
Before then I was overly concerned about being too assertive or overbearing. If someone got mad or called the broker (my dad!) to complain that I was calling too early, too late or showing up on their doorstep too often, I was horrified. After my lunch with Mari, it was my goal.
I was at my in-laws this past weekend. One of my brothers-in-law is looking for a job. I asked him how it was going and he responded, “I sent out 42 resumes, but no one has gotten back to me.” I asked him how many times he has called each one and how many drop-ins he has made to their office. I asked if he had sent any of them his favorite book, valuable article, press clipping on their organization or on their competition. The answer of course was “zero” and “no” to all these.
I offered him two pieces of advice that you too might find valuable—whether in finding a job, making a sale, finding an investor or any other person or account you need to land.
1) Shock and Awe—Narrow your list to your highest-priority targets. Then unload every bit of arsenal you have. Call, fax, email, FedEx, telegram, show-up, court the gatekeeper, bring lunch, send gifts (books, magazine articles, swag, etc.), network the contacts around them (peers, underlings, superiors, vendors, attorney, CPA’s, etc.).
Here is the magic: Don’t be afraid of being too aggressive. You might be for some, but who cares? You have a thousand times better shot at the others on your list. Get some people to call you, your boss, your association, your congressman, whatever, to complain that you are becoming a nuisance. You will then know you are on the road to victory.
I get solicitations all day every day. By routine I either don’t respond or “brush off” the first attempt or two. I want to know the character behind the solicitation. If someone persists, even if I am initially sure I am not interested, I will give an audience. If they are creative in their persistence, I am usually an easy sale.
2) Get Referred In—When I interviewed Bob Beaudine, author of The Power of Who and owner of the leading executive recruiting firm in sports and entertainment, he made this point abundantly clear when he said, “In the last 30 years I have received over 80,000 resumes. Do you know how many jobs I have placed off a resume? Not one.” This is true when it comes to raising money as well. It is not a solicitation game, it is a networking game. Beaudine will also tell you that you already know everyone you need to know to get anywhere or to anyone you need to. You just have to ask, network through your relationships and make new ones.
If you don’t know someone who knows your target contact directly, find someone who knows someone one to two degrees away. Make a new friend and climb the rings on the daisy chain to your target.
If I am interviewing someone who was referred and endorsed by someone I have respect for, the interview is very different than the one who came from a Monster.com posting and a resume. The latter person really never had a chance. This is also true in a sales situation… well in any situation. Increase your net worth by improving your network and networking skills.
Now, no more namby-pamby, soft peddling around. Straighten your spine, get aggressive and get after it!
Who do you know that needs to step it up a bit? Do them a favor and send them this post or tweet it below: http://darrenhardy.success.com/2009/06/get-aggressive/
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