Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Address the Real Fears

I recently had to sell in a new program to an old client. Basically, I have added a conference facilitator role to my existing keynote speaker role. I do this for existing clients not new ones.

They have a picture of who I am and what I do, and this new program changes that slightly. Instead of attending their event as a special (honoured) guest, my new program has me attending as part of the team.

A fear sat unspoken in our communications. Hinted at… alluded to… but not specifically mentioned. The fear was that the ‘audience wouldn’t take my keynote seriously’ if I was one of the team.

Darren Shirlaw, a great Thought Leader and business coach, taught me that one of the golden rules when starting any new project or joint venture, is to work through fears and concerns. YOU must mention the fears and not be afraid to address the concerns. It is in the speaking of concerns, that great relationships are formed.

With all your clients, don’t be afraid to speak and deal with fears. Here are three keys to keep in mind when addressing fears and concerns:

1. If left unsaid they grow worse. Name them.

2. Don’t just receive their fears, also speak yours.

3. Restate the fears to make sure you understood them.

A final tip then, is to make sure you finish on a high note. Once you have identified the fears, reassure them that it will all be good - then get on and run a fabulous program.

A fear when hidden grows in power. Name them and get on with it.

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