You’re in business to do business. Legitimate business where the exchange of goods or services add value to the customers needs and you receive equitable compensation based on the ROI (return on investment) you provided to those customers.
You can make friends in business however, your first goal is to provide your service then get paid. And, without an affirmative “Yes. Let’s begin.” You have nothing more than a friendship. And that doesn’t pay the bills.
There comes a point where you must ask for the business. When the point comes where you’ve supplied everything which basically needs to be known as to make that decision – you must ask. Don’t be afraid.
If you act as if you’re asking an in-law for a loan, that’s exactly the vibe you’ll send. Ask for the business. i.e. “We’ve covered pretty much everything. Is there anything else, or something particular you need answered so we can start?”
Without you taking control of the conversation it will meander in directions that wastes everyone’s time. There are always moments where you can legitimately ask for the business. When they arise – ask. If you falter, all you’re doing is giving cues that you aren’t as sure of your value as you’re trying to convey.
If you have a value to present and, you can demonstrate that value. Ask, and, ask often. You’re having a discussion to conduct business in a friendly manner. Not just for the sake of being friendly or making friends.
© 2013 Mark St.Cyr