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“Approach-Avoidance Tango” Revisited

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the problem that occurs when a prospective client runs “hot and cold”—approaching you as if he’s interested and then blowing you off as if he’s not.  I called this phenomenon the Approach-Avoidance Tango, because it has the air of a dance.

After reading my advice, Mitch, one of my subscribers, wrote me about a way to handle this situation that HE learned from my colleague, Ari Galper, an American sales trainer now living in Australia.  Here’s the content that Ari suggested for a phone message or email to a wishy-washy prospect:

Joe, I’m assuming that since you and I haven’t been able to reconnect, you are no longer interested in what I have to offer.  Not a problem.  I just wanted to apologize if it’s something that I might have said or if somehow I dropped the ball on this one.  If you wouldn’t mind, can you get back to me and let me know what I could have done differently, so I don’t make the same mistake in the future?  I’d really appreciate it!  Thanks, Mitch

Mitch told me that he’s had great responses with this approach.  “I actually had someone’s assistant get back to me,” he wrote, “telling me that the reason her boss hadn’t called yet was that he broke his ankle and had been out of the office, but that he wanted to apologize for not getting back to me sooner.”

Others called him to apologize and explain that they’d been busy with other projects.  Some replied to say that their priorities had shifted, and to assure him that it wasn’t anything he had done wrong.  And, of course, a whole bunch never reached out again.

Whether you call a prospective client out on her dance (as I suggested in my previous article) or ask if you offended her in some way depends entirely upon the circumstances, and your preferences.  The important thing to remember is this:

If you’ve started a relationship with a potential client and your progress comes to an abrupt end, it’s worth the little bit of extra effort and exposure to find out why the relationship faltered.

I can help you develop powerful relationships with your clients and prospects if you contact me now.  In the meantime, keep REACHING…

16 Disciplines

I suppose it would have been more fun if I called them 16 “hot tubs” for advisors, or less intimidating if I called them “practices,” but after 17 years of working with and observing how the most successful advisors, it's clear that there are branches of knowledge involved. 


Practice these simple 16 disciplines daily and watch how quickly and easily your practice grows.

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