Dear Sean and Fellow New Beginners,
Let’s turn to closing the deal. As you encounter people who will help, stay targeted on getting more out of these conversations. Turn your information interviews towards getting people to talk in depth about their career experience. Focus on what they love about their work. There’s a bunch of details in the book about this too.
You’re asking a question, though, that goes a step beyond the conversation—how to get others to help you close the deal. Two things strike me. The first has to do with other people’s willingness to stand up for you. The second is how to close the deal.
1. Get exposure. Find a way for others to know what you do and how you work. Projects, volunteering, playing sports with others, shadowing. When you make it easy to believe that buying you will be good for them, closing the deal is more likely.
2. Become a deal closer yourself. Be clear about what you want from others and don’t be afraid to ask for it. Mike made a comment about this to your last post, Career Search Unknown—you are the one that closes the deal.
Like you, in this new publishing business, I’m learning how to balance new connections with pinpointing the people who can help me move business ahead. I’m developing a new set of prospects, and learning how to reposition myself. So it’s a whole new pitch.
As we meet new people, we put them in our pipeline as possibilities. But it’s through simple repetition that we get the “ask” right. Once we know what to ask for, we learn the cues to start separating out who means business. (We can talk later about reading cues.)
Closing the deal, in the end, is about the number of times at bat. The more at-bats, the more likely you’ll hit the ball eventually. The laws of probability and statistics tell us that even loaded dice sometimes come up in your favor.
Think of the crummy economy as working with loaded dice. Then stick to your game. The right next step will turn up. I assure you, if you keep your head in the game, keep building your pipeline, and you really want this, you will close the right deal for you at this point in your life.
But remember, good enough is good enough. The game is played in steps—one foot in front of the other—persistence through the highs and lows.