Tell me if this sounds familiar: you meet someone at an event who strikes you as a great potential customer or partner. You raise the notion of working together, and have a great chat. You both seem excited by the potential deal in the offing, and you part ways with every intention of following up again. You email the next day, and then…nothing. You follow-up again: nothing. And again, and again, and again: nothing.
I’m sorry, but he’s just not that into you.
But why? What causes someone to decide not to respond?
In my Getting In The Door series I took a look at some of the tactical steps you can take to reopen the lines of communication when the trail goes cold. But what actually causes those situations in the first place?
Ultimately, it comes down to one simple thing: They don’t see the value you can offer to them.
Think about the last conversation you had with someone who never responded: Were his eyes darting across the room? Were his words filled with “uh huhs” and “right” and other cues to get to the point already? Did they avoid asking any questions?
Despite how obvious the value that you have to offer them is to you, they probably think you’re just wasting their time. Our natural desire to be liked causes us to extend those polite social cues even when all you want to do is run for the exit. That puts the onus on you to look past the polite nodding and ask yourself a tough question: did you really show them see why they should care?
That means thinking about how you can appeal to both the Individual Mind and the Organizational Mind.
The Individual Mind asks what’s in it for me personally? What could get him excited about working with you? The chance for recognition, the financial windfall of a bonus, an opportunity to work on something he’s truly passionate about?
The Organizational Mind asks why would the company prioritize this? What about your Value Hypothesis could get the organization to leap its many bureaucratic hurdles to bring your deal to market? What form of value is aligned with the needs of the organization right now?
All the tactics in the world won’t help you get someone to pay attention to you if they think you’re not worth their time. If you believe you actually have value to offer, make it so obvious they can’t ignore you.
Show them why they should care, and maybe they’ll come around to see you for all your natural beauty.