• Learn How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand That Will Differentiate You and Allow You To Compete in the Global Marketplace.
  • Don’t Fall For The “I Know People” Trap

    There are many different types of potential clients you’ll come across and there will come a time where, if the discussions turn serious enough, you’ll enter what should be a negotiation phase for your services.

    However, there are certain prospects who aren’t negotiating as much as playing games and it’s important to separate these pretenders from the flock.

    “If you can give me a lower rate on this, I know a lot of people I can introduce you to in town. I’ve been here for many years and have a lot of connections. So give me a little leeway now and I can open a lot of doors.”

    This sounds attractive at first, but consider the character of this individual in giving you this offer. They’re not dumb and realize that you have bills to pay. Yet they think you’re dumb with their “I know people” line.

    There are three reasons you shouldn’t fall for this:

    1) They could be completely full of it.
    They may even have pictures on the wall of people they’ve met. Well, I can attend lots of events and get my picture taken with someone notable. It’s really not that hard. It doesn’t mean they have a strong relationship with any of those people. It means they paid some money to get into an event, which afforded them a photo op. That’s it.

    2) If they’re “someone” in town, they have money and a good amount of it.
    And if they do have money, they can pay for services rather than pretend they don’t have any, right?

    3) If they’re cheap, do you want to be introduced to other cheap people just like them?
    Because if they’re the kind of people who want to get out of parting with any amount of money, they’re quite likely to connect you…with other people who are going to do the same. It’s not like they’re saying, “Let me introduce you to my wealthy friends who, unlike me, aren’t afraid to spend.”

    Again, there’s genuine negotiation and there’s manipulation. Don’t settle for a ridiculously low rate that compromises what you truly deserve.

    At the very least, make sure you’re in control. Like so:

    If they’re going to make promises about who they can introduce you to, don’t accept that at face value. Say something like, “That’s fine. I want to see a list of who you can potentially introduce me to. I’m then going to choose certain people on that list who meet my business’ goals and I’d like an introduction to those people I choose within each month. I think that’s a fair trade as I’m giving you a very favorable rate.”

    Part of building a brand for yourself is making every relationship mutually beneficial. That includes specifics to your liking, whether that’s monetary, introductions or both. And not vague promises of “what could be.”

    Dan Gershenson is a Chicago-based consultant focused on brand strategy and content marketing. Dan has guided a variety of CEOs and Marketing Directors at small to medium-sized companies, providing hundreds of strategic plans to help businesses identify their best niches and areas of opportunity. Dan blogs on Chicago Brander, mentors advertising students and cheers relentlessly for the Chicago Bears. Dan graduated from Drake University with a degree in Advertising

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