I knew this business owner was fun, friendly and really good at what he did.
I was curious to find out more and suspected that I’d find his work really useful, but I couldn’t quite bring myself to arrange the call.
Every time I thought about talking to him, I got another round of internal chatter about why that wasn’t a good idea.
I told myself:
“I won’t know what to say”
“I can’t quite put into words what I’m struggling with, and I don’t know what to ask so I don’t want to waste his time”.
“He might try to sell to me and I won’t be able to get out of it.”
“I’ll feel awkward and I won’t know how to end the conversation.”
Out trickled an endless stream of my own ‘stories’.
It ended up with me not contacting someone who could quite possibly have helped me with something in my business.
Do you recognise yourself in this scenario?
Can you understand how someone might feel that way?
I was recently talking to a female business leader in the UK, who mentioned that she’d referred someone to me. I don’t know whether they actually did contact me, but I thought of my own experience.
It got me wondering how many other people there are who put off making contact because of the stories they tell themselves.
Could lack of safety be losing you clients?
If people need to be vulnerable before they can get the most from your work together, how much safety does it take for potential clients to be able to reach out to you?
It takes a lot of safety and trust, especially for sensitive introverts, to be able to have a conversation at all, especially if you’ve never ‘met’ or spoken before.
They need to trust that you’re going to hold a compassionate space for them and treat them with respect and gentleness.
They must be allowed to express what’s going on for them without feeling trapped, or pressured.
There are so many unknowns, and so many underlying discomforts.
When people are not quite sure what’s going to happen, it’s easier and safer to say No to having a conversation.
And that doesn’t serve them or you.
Who knows what could have happened if I’d felt safe enough to have that conversation a few years ago?
My business might have taken a different track.
I might have had a pivotal ‘aha’ moment.
At the very least I would have made a new connection and learned some valuable information.
As it happened I got nothing (and beat myself up for some time afterwards because I’d chickened out.)
We both lost out.
How can you provide safety for your potential clients?
There are people out there who really need your help, but they won’t know that you’re the right person to give them that help until they speak to you.
Here’s a few steps that you can take to make it easy and increase the safety for people to reach out and have a conversation:
1. Make sure you’re creating videos (to post on social media and send out to your mailing list).
People need to see and hear you. Your energy comes across even in videos, so people get a sense of whether they ‘click’ with you or not.
2. Make it explicitly clear what people are going to get from their call with you.
As a compassionate human, of course you’re not going to ‘hard sell’ to them, but they don’t know that.
Make the purpose of the call clear when you communicate with them, and reassure them that you’re not going to push them into anything they don’t want.
You might include something like
“I’m really happy to offer you this call absolutely free and with no strings attached.
If I feel I can help you, then I’ll offer you the chance to hear more about how you can do further work with me – but there’s absolutely no pressure!
I’ll make sure you get great value from the call no matter what happens.”Just by stating that explicitly, you’ve increased the safety.
3. Explain to people that they don’t need to have it all figured out before they speak to you.
Remind them that thoughts, ideas and clarity can emerge once you’re in conversation.
Reassure them that they can come to the call exactly as they are, and they can let the explanation and reason for the call emerge as it will.
For people who prefer more structure and a framework for the call, you can let them have some questions ahead of time. This allows them to ponder their answers before they speak to you.
In this way, you’re increasing the safety and the trust for people who need it.
Give them encouragement and reassurance and they can allow themselves to be vulnerable.
Take steps to enable your potential clients to feel safe, and you’ll both benefit!
Introducing “The Introvert’s Safe Space”.
I know how much safety it takes to be able to reach out and have a conversation with a ‘stranger’ about something that’s vulnerable.
That’s why I’m launching The Introvert’s Safe Space; one day per week where introverts can connect with me in a free 1-2-1 call, to have a gentle conversation about what’s going on for them in their business.
There’s no pressure, no selling, just compassionate help and coaching, to bring clarity and awareness, and a new way forward.
Do you know an introvert who’s struggling in their business and would value a free compassionate coaching call?
Please share this post with them, so they can reach out to me in safety and confidence, and I’ll help!
Over to you:
Have you ever found it hard to reach out to someone about something you know they could help with. How are you inspired to change your communication with clients after reading this post?
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