Build Business Relationships Through Shock and Awe

By | February 10, 2010

I had the opportunity to meet with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company to pitch a project I wanted to do for them. In his spacious office John Wayne was everywhere: posters, autographed pictures, and even a life-sized cardboard cutout of the Duke himself standing in one corner of the office.

I commented on the memorabilia and he mentioned to me everyone who comes to his office wants to add to his collection, and the way he said it, I got the feeling his interest became more the passion of others with their gifts.

As I was leaving after my presentation I noticed one thing framed that had nothing to do with John Wayne. It was a certificate from Star Fleet Command. He was a closet Trekkie! When I asked about that particular framed certificate his eyes lit up and he told me all about his week at Star Trek camp! You never know do you?

In the thank you note to him for giving me his time I included two inexpensive items I found on ebay. One was a Star Trek communicator the actors would hit on their chest to communicate with others on board. The second was a red enamel Klingon war pin.

In the note I told him he could use these as indicators when he walked into meetings. If the communicator pin was on it was open communication. If he was wearing the Klingon war pin – the warrior was loose.

Not only did I get an excited call back telling me he was shocked at what I had found for him and was in awe I took notice of the one thing everyone else over looked, but I spoke at a number of programs with that organization until he retired. Yes, retired; were you thinking this was some young kid?

I have also used this approach to open doors. It is amazing what information the Internet can provide. I researched another prospect and found an interview where he discussed the university he went to and his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers, also my favorite team. Back to ebay. A collection of Super Bowl pins, a note and a college connection and once again I got a note back thanking me and that all important first meeting booked.

If you want to create connection and a relationship with your buyers, you want to identify that one thing that will positively shock them and place you in a position of awe. Do the research and find that piece of information that will truly get their attention. I find most executives and important people we want to know are very approachable once you establish that connection that sets you apart from the rest of the herd.

I have since repeated my “Shock and Awe” approach with great results and so have those I’ve advised to do as well. It wasn’t the cost of the items; it was the thoughtfulness of the spot-on gesture that was specific to that individual.

Know your prospects and give them a “Shock and Awe” that will make you positively unforgettable.

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