Back in high school, I had a crush on Amanda, but she had a boyfriend named Cam.
A few days before her 16th birthday, she was flirting with me, bad-mouthing Cam, hinting that he was toast.
So I made my move.
During the birthday party at her house, I snuck up to her room with a dozen long-stem roses and placed them on her bed — without a card.
A few hours after the party, I called her and said, “Do you like the roses?”
“I love them,” she said. “I knew they were from you.”
Then she told me she and Cam were finished. She wanted to “go with” me.
There was a catch.
The Rolling Stones concert was in eight days, and Cam had two tickets.
“I don’t want to miss The Stones,” she said. “I’ll break up with him AFTER the concert.”
She was going to spend the next eight days pretending she still liked Cam, go to the concert on his dime, break his heart after the concert, and become my sweetie the next day!?
“Sounds good to me,” I said.
In retrospect, I wish I could have rewritten the script.
I wish that voice inside my head told me: “Hmmm… I don’t think this is going to turn out well.”
I wish I had mustered the courage to tell Amanda, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
I wish I had anticipated the inevitable: A month after The Rolling Stones concert, I was toast.
Fast forward a few decades to this morning.
Minutes before I drafted and sent this email (really), I called a prospect who wanted to hire my firm or a big project.
“Thanks, but no thanks,” I told him.
This prospect is a great guy with a great business. The opportunity was lucrative. But it wasn’t the right fit.
That voice inside my head told me: “I don’t think this is going to turn out well.” And I listened.
I had struggled with the decision. Marketers and salespeople are taught to “get to ‘Yes.’”
But sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves and our business is know when to say “no.”
That voice that says, “This might not go well…” It doesn’t just magically appear. You have to summon it.
You have to take the first step and think, “How will this turn out?” And you have to respond honestly.
You have to have the courage to say, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
Impossible for a 16-year-old boy wooing his crush.
Still not easy for a (relatively) mature businessman with decades of experience.
We work so hard attracting leads, wooing prospects, trying to close the sale.
We cherish the sale. We want the thrill of victory.
In this case, though, it was more thrilling to choose a different path:
I referred my prospect to another company I trust. The folks at that company are grateful. The prospect is grateful. And I’m relieved and grateful to bypass a project that would not have turned out well for the prospect or me.
p.s. I help coaches, consultants, and business leaders discover and deliver powerful stories that captivate prospects and inspire them to act. Whenever you're ready, here are several ways I can help you become a storytelling stand-out so you'll land more clients without pitching and prodding:
1) Connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook and (if not subscribed already) join our email list.
2) Watch the free, 7-minute Micro-Training: “The 3 Most Important Storytelling Keys to Captivate Prospects and Inspire Them to Act -- Without Pitching and Prodding.”
3) Become a Story Power VIP in the Content Transformation Academy: Master how to discover, assemble, and deliver business-building stories. Weekly masterclasses. Members-only content. One-on-one feedback and consulting sessions. And more… If you'd like to learn more about our VIP program, just reply to this email and put "Story Power VIP" in the subject line. I’ll contact you with more details.
4) Work with me one-on-one: If you’re interested in working directly with me -- to discover, assemble, and deliver powerful, business-building stories -- simply reply to this email and change the subject line to "Private Client." Tell me a little about yourself, your business, and what you'd like to accomplish, and I'll reply to discuss options.
5) Invite me to speak at an event: I can tailor a presentation that meets the specific needs of your organization. Informative. Entertaining. Virtual or live. Potential for continuing education credits when applicable for your group. If interested, reply to this email and change the subject line to “Speaking Engagement.” I’ll circle back to discuss the possibilities.
Want to get great content like this...
...delivered straight to your inbox?
Join our email list...
Leave a Comment