Picking up Poop While Making a Pitch: Meet Your Clients Where They Are
When I started my business a little less than a year ago, I went through the adjustment of working in an office setting 40 hours a week to working in isolation from my couch three days a week. It was a seismic shift, to say the least.
But one person I saw with regularity was my dog walker. Reliably she was there every Monday to Friday, midday to greet and walk my pooch. I probably seemed like a crazed person whenever she arrived because REAL. ADULT. HUMAN. INTERACTION. I may have even purposely worked at the table by my back door on a few occasions just so I didn’t miss her coming or going. Also, she’s a really nice person, and I loved hearing about her adventures of being a small business owner. Her business wasn’t really all that much older than mine.
Early on in our conversations, I mentioned that my business was helping small business owners take marketing projects off their plates. Her ears perked up at this, but she wasn’t ready. Logistically, there was still a lot she was figuring out between having to manage a schedule of walkers across the north side of Chicago and a variety of pets with a variety of needs.
But she kept showing up to walk my dog, and we kept chatting. No hard sell on my part.
About a month ago, she asked how things were going for my business. I said they were going well, but that I was actively looking to take on a few more clients. Her response: Let’s talk. I need help.
The moment had presented itself, and she was ready.
Knowing she’s a busy business owner and that she usually is walking dogs during the times I’m usually working, I proposed the meeting take place while we walked my dog.
And that’s what we did. She showed up, leashed my dog, we gathered the other pooches he walks with, and we talked shop while letting them stretch their legs and smell all the fresh new spring smells. I left that 30-minute walk with an understanding of her business and where she wants to take it. That chat then allowed me to craft a proposal to redo her website in a way that was specific to her needs. And I got a little bit of fresh air and some human interaction in the process. Win. Win. Win.
Another win: I’m starting on her new website in May.
I share this story as a way to demonstrate that the best pitches for me - the ones where I feel truly comfortable in the moment - come naturally through a back and forth conversation over time, usually not over one phone call. I also share it as a fun example of how you can meet your potential clients where they are - even if where they are means picking up dog poop while selling your services.