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Today we are going to talk about one of my favorite topics, creating demand.
In our experience, when most people attempt to create demand, they do what is not effective. They have a meeting with a client and talk about only the biggest, sexiest things you have ever worked on. The biggest matters, the biggest solutions, the biggest projects, the biggest engagements. The problem with that is, while it might give you some credibility, it is difficult for the client to make the next incremental step. It is unlikely the client will go from one meeting to buying something that is very large. Instead of that, what we find to be most helpful is doing something we call a Give-to-Get.
A Give-to-Get is a small sliver of your expertise that you give away on your dime, no charge at all.
It lets the client get a taste of the experience of what it is like to work with you, as opposed to talking about it. A Give-to-Get usually takes at most an hour or so of time and it does not even have to be in person, it could be on the phone or a video conference. It is all about solving a client’s problem in some way, so that they get this idea of how great you really are. That is a lot better than simply talking about how great you really are.
If you want to do a Give-to-Get the right way, you do it backwards.
It’s counterintuitive. What you want to do is think, “What is the big thing that I would like to create demand for that might take a month or a year to actually get final approval for?” That goal could take a long time to reach, but figure out what it is. This way, you may align your Give-to-Get with that. You take a step back and ask yourself, when possible, what is one small thing a client can purchase or receive that will push them into alignment with the big thing. You work backwards from that and you think, what Give-to-Get, what one hour or so investment of your time can be given to align with the small one.
Here is how it could look.
Let’s say you are a financial advisor. An important one who is managing all the assets for a high net worth individual. A Give-to-Get might be going out to lunch or dinner and talking about what to do now that they’ve had their first child and they’re figuring out how to save for college. Or perhaps to discuss what do they do when they’re going to have a liquidity event because they’re going to sell their dental practice. You can share how have you helped other dentists figure out exactly what to do when that sale happens. These are easy Give-to-Get that shows your credibility and helps clients think through a pressing issue, a life event change, that naturally lead to something larger.
A Give-to-Get done properly is done with intention, so that the Give-to-Get you offered is aligned to something bigger, but at the step you are at it can be easy to say yes to and it shows you at your best, all while showing a tremendous amount of credibility.
Let me give you a couple examples of Give-to-Get in completely different industries.
First, let’s say that you are the account manager for a big health insurance company. A Give-to-Get here might be an evaluation of how your health care in other local markets would be better than what they have now. You could mention adding dental insurance, which would be a great addition to the various parts of the health and welfare coverages they already purchase from you. A Give-to-Get could be an analysis or an evaluation or a brainstorming session about how these new products could potentially fit, or not fit, with the portfolio they already have.
Or let’s say you are a lawyer, a transactional attorney at a big Am Law 50 firm. What you might do in this situation is offer a Give-to-Get of evaluating some of their prior buy-sell agreements and making sure a particular clause was in place, ensuring that the buy-sell was constructed properly.
Another example could be that you are an accountant specializing in tax matters. You could perform an evaluation of an organization’s or an individual’s tax returns to figure out whether there are ways to save money which that particular client had not yet thought about doing or implementing.
Give-to-Gets are great because, firstly, you are helping someone else. Secondly, you are showing your expertise. Thirdly, it is aligned with the intention of receiving future paid work.
Lastly, let me share with you the science of why Give-to-Gets work so well.
Dr. Robert Cialdini at Arizona State University has conducted the most research on the power of influence, specifically on what things do and do not influence us as human beings. He came up with six things. He synthesized all the research out there from lots of other Ph. D.s, in addition to his own work, and he found that six things were the most powerful influencers for human beings. Give-to-Gets can trigger every single one of those six influencers. My own experience has shown that no other technique hits all six. This list is useful as it can provide a little check list to make sure you are designing your Give-to-Gets in the most powerful way.
The first thing Cialdini found is reciprocity.
When we give first, people want to repay. The Give-to-Get, by definition, covers this.
The next thing he found was social proof.
People tend to do what other people want them to do, which is very powerful for us as human beings. When you offer your Give-to-Get, make sure all the people involved with a larger buying decision are a part of the Give-to-Get. This allows them to move as one single-minded group, as opposed to you just winning one person over and failing to gather the social proof in the organization. Invite everybody you can to do participate in the Give-to-Get.
The third thing is likability.
If you offer your Give-to-Get in the right way, people are sampling the experience that they will have if they were to work with you. This grants you opportunities improve your likability. And since you’re giving something, there is a high correlation to likability as well.
The fourth thing is commitment.
People typically continue to travel the path they are already on. What a simple, small, free Give-to-Get can do is start that journey. Therefore, it is really important you align your Give-to-Get with where you want to end up.
The fifth thing is authority.
Authority is all about how we tend to trust people that know their stuff. If you are actually doing the work you do, as opposed to talking about doing what you have accomplished, you will get the chance to create that authority. They will get the feeling that you know what you are doing and are skilled at it as you execute on your Give-to-Get.
The sixth and final thing that Cialdini found is scarcity.
We tend to want more of what is scarce. With your Give-to-Get, be very clear with your clients that you can’t offer your services away on your dime all the time. There’s only a few of these you can do per month or per year. Just be honest with them. Tell them that you can’t do what you’re offering for them for everybody. You can do “X” of these per time period. You can say that very honestly and authentically, and that’ll make people want it more. You’ve made your services scarce, which makes it valuable since not everybody gets it. Always be authentic, always be genuine, always be honest about this, but it’s totally appropriate for you to say how special the gift is that you’re giving someone.
If you hit all six of those things, Give-to-Gets really shine because you’re helping your client succeed, while you’re showing them how you can do more work for them, and that’s what creating demand is all about. As always with these videos, we hope that we’re helping you help your clients succeed and we hope that you enjoy them.