Become a Classy Pest


My friend Jayne is the ultimate Classy Pest. Does that sound like a contradiction in terms? You know, if she was a tad more persistent I might say she was obnoxious or annoying but instead she is a charmer. And she’s able to obtain what is needed on a personal and professional level by giving you a little “push”.

There are times in our professional lives when we need to be Jayne, to be the Classy Pest, when we need to push for a response from a client, prospect or co-worker, without crossing the line.

Once you reach the person directly, be prepared with what you want to say. It keeps the conversation focused and can reduce your anxiety, which, as we say at Cohen Brown, “is the price you pay for the unprepared mind and mouth.”

Keep a few tips in mind. Don’t ask “How are you today?” or “Is now a good time?” They will let you know if it is not a good time so don’t give them a chance to back out before you get started.

Catch their attention! Make them think that they will miss an opportunity if they don’t meet with you! What is the benefit to them? Will you make them money? Save them money? Give them money? Protect their money? Maybe provide convenience? Figure it out, and then let them know!

Now, put it in language that sounds like you’re talking to someone you know. Emphasise the key words, and lower your voice when you get to important parts of the conversation. Finally, practice it until you sound conversational! Know it so well that you have the ability to flow with the discussion.

Be candid. What objections might the contact bring up? Which parts might need further explanation? If they seem hesitant, try expressing empathy and use the bandwagon technique. “I understand your concern and some of my other prospects initially had that same concern, but after having a brief conversation with me they found that I was able to save their team an additional two hours per day in processing time. I would love to do the same for you.”

Above all, don’t give up. The Classy Pest will be the individual who ends the conversation with “What day and time is best for our meeting?”

Your thoughts?

Cynthia Whitmer Griffith is a Performance Results Network Results Consultant for Community Banks and Credit Unions at Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

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