I was recently able to put Frances Cole’s advice into practice. I read her book “How to Wow” several days before I had an important meeting with 7/11. I needed to sell them on a concept. So I decided to change up the strategy I’ve employed for the last twenty years and use one of hers.
Instead of introducing myself to the meeting members with “Hi, my name is Stephen Key. Thank you for coming,” and then beginning my pitch, I opened with a story. I’d already shaken hands and looked each man and woman at the meeting in the eye before it started. As I’ve written before, the small talk that takes place before a meeting gets going is the perfect time to do this. Take the time to reach out your hand.
But after, I began not with my usual pitch but with a story. That’s what Cole had recommended – telling a story. It took the edge off and made talking easier for me. I was simply explaining to them what I had experienced and observed. Who doesn’t like “once upon a time”? It’s just easier to digest and enjoy. I could tell that they got caught up in it. The story I told related to age (as theirs was similar to mine) and my children – their potential market. They’re hugely interested in targeting that market.
At the end of my story, the director flatly stated, “The question isn’t IF we’re going to work with Mr. Key, but WHEN.” I was floored. I’ve never heard someone speak so convincingly so quickly at a meeting before. He was sold. The moment was so great.
The advice was the best I’ve received in a long time. Read the next blog to find out why.
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