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“Approach-Avoidance” Tango

It can happen to anyone: 

We speak to someone who is thinking about hiring us.  She calls again with a question and leaves a message to call her back.  We’re enthusiastic about the possibility of working with her. But when we return her call, she’s suddenly unavailable—forever.

I call this the “Approach-Avoidance Tango”, and it’s not unlike the dance you might have done while playing the dating game.  After my first terrific date with Hannah (my wife of 44 years), I didn’t call her again for months.  I even stood her up once—which prompted her to throw the chocolate mousse she was making for me at the kitchen wall.  Come to think of it…I can’t imagine why she married me after all.

When someone is doing this Tango with you in your personal or business life, you usually start second-guessing yourself:  “Was I too enthusiastic?”  “Did I come on too strong?”  “Should I have waited a day or two so I would appear less interested or needy?”

But the dance is seldom about something you’ve done or failed to do.  It takes a great deal of courage to decide to commit to anyone.  Choosing to be someone’s client means baring your weaknesses—something none of us like to do.  It also means agreeing to trust our advice—another scary step.

So, let’s say that a prospect does find talking with you to be beneficial.  He thinks you might be the one who can finally help.  He picks up the phone with some trepidation and calls you—and you’re not there.  He leaves a message, but now his courage has waned.  By the time you dial back, it’s gone—and he can’t even dream of mustering it up again to return your call.

Should you just let him go? 

In his book, SHIFT, my colleague Jeremiah Desmarais gives us a quick email solution to this part of the Tango:

Subject: John

John, do you still need help with your [fill in the blank]?


You can send this as a text, too, if you have their cell number.

Of course it may not work. But if the Tangoing prospect has moved in the other direction, you have nothing to lose by reaching your hand out in this simple way to pull him back into the dance.

If you’re not growing your business fast enough and want to set yourself to add $50K to your income in the next 90 days, don’t avoid the help I’m offering.  Take me up on having a coaching conversation

Whatever you do for yourself or your clients, always 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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