Friday, June 1, 2012

How to Get a Second Interview

Show up. Be professional. Demonstrate that you care about other people beyond their ability to immediately satisfy your needs.

You'd think this goes without saying; however, there are so many people and companies who do neither that it may bear repeating.

Here are prime examples:

  • I was looking for office space to host a meeting. In Chicago, I borrowed one from a friend or a vendor. In Austin, I'm starting fresh. 
I asked one friend for a recommendation. Then I sourced three more by searching online. I sent inquiries simultaneously. Two responded immediately. One was suitable.
What broke the tie?

Friendliness. An orientation to customer service. A willingness to go the extra yard to make us feel welcome and comfortable.

  • I was sourcing a video production company to help us define and cost a series of online programs to distinguish my client's value proposition.

    I called one whom I knew and when that proved less than satisfactory, I sourced others through my professional network.

    We are still in the early stages, so I can't say which will win our business. But the choice will be a lot like the first - the one who shows up as professional and demonstrates that they can care about a client beyond the obvious gratification of making a buck.
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In all honesty, the one we choose may not be my "first pick;" they will turn out to be the best choice by virtue of their willingness to bring it and add value to our discussions.

Whether we work together or don't, they will also be the ones we recommend to those who ask in the future.

Don't ever let a cavalier attitude short-change your potential clients. Everyone is in your sphere for a reason. Everyone has something to teach and something to learn.  A spirit of curiosity is far more productive than a superior attitude.

One thought sticks in my mind: the potential of the universe is not a pie to slice into ever smaller shares; it's a bakery.

What can we create together?

Show up. Be professional. Care.

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