Are You Ignoring Opportunity?

One of the best ways to develop deep, profitable relationships is by connecting people with opportunity. For this to be effective, the person you are connecting must understand and appreciate the value you provide.  The challenge:  Knowing when someone has a valuable opportunity versus when they are just taking a shot at selling you something.

How can you divine the difference?

You can’t.

You must treat everything as an excellent opportunity and then move on the instant you determine it is a waste of time.

A few months ago I reached out to the president of a local bank.  The bank provides outstanding service, has a great reputation, and is undergoing a rebranding initiative.  I wanted to present him with an opportunity to connect with 150 local trust and estates attorneys. I reached out via email and requested ten minutes of his time for a conversation.  This wasn’t a cold call. The bank executive had been to one of my presentations, had expressed an interest in my work and has regularly read my articles (he’s probably reading this right now).

I sent an email and received a quick response. The president said he would reach out to me the next day.

A few days later, an external consultant called me.  He said he was connecting with me to vet the opportunity on behalf of the bank.  I politely described the opportunity and when the consultant asked for more information, in writing, so he could present it to the bank president, I declined and moved on to another institution.

The lesson: When someone wants to put money in your pocket, TAKE IT.

A ten-minute telephone conversation by the president would have given him the chance to evaluate this opportunity and it would have developed relationship capital with me. Instead, the president decided to add two additional, unnecessary steps to this process and he gave me the impression he wasn’t interested in a relationship.

C’est la vie.

Don’t let this happen to you.

Don’t be afraid of being “sold.” Quickly ask questions to evaluate an opportunity. You can always politely move on if it’s not right for you.