You have identified someone you will like to be a part of your enriching network. But the person is not in your immediate network. So you have to find ways to start courting them. This is definitive guide to that.
In my last post, I wrote that one of the ways one can attract collaborators to their life and business is through courting. There are various approaches to courting or wooing people into your life. That is what I have developed in this article. But before that, let us take a very good look at the word courting.
Courting comes from the word, court. The first meaning of the word court is to be romantically involved with someone, with the intention of getting married. The second meaning, which is our focus right now is to pay special attention to a person or organization for the purpose of winning their support or collaboration.
Courting is the art of paying special attention to a person or organization for the purpose of winning their support or collaboration.
There are 6 approaches to business courtship.
1. Direct Approach
This is when you find out where the person of interest will be and go directly to introduce yourself to them. This is NOT the best approach because if the person has a low appetite for direct confrontational friendship proposal, that is the end. The person will then work consciously to avoid you as soon as they can get rid of you in that first encounter. Don’t use this approach unless you are damn (I should write “absoultely”, really but…!) sure that you are so so irresistable.
2. Introductory Approach
This is when you decide to look for someone to introduce you to the person. This is a less invasive approach, especially if the person doing the introduction is well known to and liked by your prospect. Finding a suitable person to do the introduction is also not easy sometimes because the efforts of finding that person almost equals the effort of going for the person directly. Moreover, what will the person doing the introduction gain from the whole ordeal? Moreover, if the person does not think you are credible enough for their personal endorsement, they won’t do it. Consider all these before choosing this approach.
3. Circumstantial Approach
This approach is less invasive and feels very natural. Here, you arrange to be in the same room, hall or circumstance with the person of interest. In that way, an interaction that can encourage a natural courting that will lead to networking relationship can start. I once needed to interview the publisher of Genevieve Magazine, Betty Irabor for my former magazine, Triumph. All efforts to get her to sit down with me proved abortive as she was extremely busy. Then I scanned for events and noticed that Tara Durotoye was celebrating her anniversary in MUSON Centre. I just knew Betty Irabor will be there. I caught up with her at that event and we came to an understanding immediately!
4. Expert Approach
This approach is nice if you are an expert in an area that interests your prospect. It is nicer if you have a credibility tool to show the prospect. I think the best expert credibility tool is a book with a professionally designed cover, showing your photograph at the front or back. If the prospect instantly likes you, it is obviously based on the fact that they have concluded that you are worthy for them to make acquintances of. If you work the relationship well, this approach will work wonders for you. If you do not have an expert credibility tool, kindly ignore this approach and use the reverse expert approach.
5. Reverse Expert Approach
This approach always work. If the person you are expecting a courting opportunity with is an expert, this is a method that will almost always work. My book has sold thousands of copies. Yet every time someone says “I read your book and …”, something wakes up inside me. I just want to hear the person talk and I want to talk back at the person. If the person you are looking to court has written any books, buy at least one and actually read it. Armed with this, even the direct approach above will work. Armed with this the circumstantial approach will definitely work. If the person has not written any books, fret not! Simply look for media interviews they have granted before, and read them. Discuss them but please, avoid the controversial ones dear.
6. Customer Approach
I think this is the most magical of them all. Imagine you are a fashion designer and someone walks up to you wearing one of your designs. With a hand reverently stretched out, anticipating a handshake, they say “I always look forward to your latest designs. How do you like this on me?” You will be Satan’s Personal Assistant to ignore that kind of person. He/She is your customer. They bought you the car that brought you to that event. They are why you are successful. In the same way, approaching a person and saying how much you have enjoyed been their customer really helps. But no lieing. The person will catch you!
So there they are – the 6 expert approaches to courting someone for collaboration. Which of the approaches have you used before? How did it play out? We sure will like to hear your story. Kindly leave comments in the comment box below.