True story – just happened a little over a week ago.
-republished from old blog
Without sharing the details, I visited a business with my son for something he needed for school. As part of that, I took note of a truly innovative design in the business. Traditional industry but this “storefront” looked and felt more like an Apple Store meets Starbucks.
Then, we ended up in an online video chat – and as it turned out, it was the businesses founder on the other end.
I told him I was impressed with his business – the model, the storefront, the use of technology. I asked him some questions about the model and how he arrived at the idea.
Note: I had no thought of this business as a potential client. I was intrigued; learning; engaged!
We chatted a bit – and then he asked me a few questions. He shared with me a challenge they were having and I explained how I might solve that problem – the technology behind it and why I thought it would be effective.
“Can I hire you as a consultant?”
I never had a chance to try to sell him on me. I never got to use my super-secret close. I never got to show him my slick flyer and super-charged resume.
Dammit!! I never had a chance to smooth talk him or answer his objections.
What he said next made it all clear.
“You are the first person who answered my question using clear language that I could understand but most important, it is obvious you are interested in what I am doing – not just the technology, the whole thing.”
FYI: No.. that is probably not precisely word for word. In fact, he might have used 2 or 3 sentences. But the paraphrase is close enough.
In subsequent conversations he has said the same and told me that I make him feel comfortable enough to ask questions, not about the technology, but about the business in general. His vision! His future plans! His concerns!
Are you genuinely interested? If not… why?