Imagine for a moment that you’re at a party.

In walks a business acquaintance named Roberta, a personal development coach. Roberta’s an expert at conversations that get to the heart of how she helps folks. She’s approached by a third woman, who we don’t know.

Let’s listen in:

PROSPECT: What kind of work do you do?

ROBERTA: I help folks accomplish things they’ve been unable to accomplish.

PROSPECT: And how do you do that?

ROBERTA: Let me ask you a question. Are there three things you’d like to accomplish in your life right now that for some reason or other you haven’t been able to accomplish yet?

PROSPECT: Sure. I think I can think of more than three.

ROBERTA: Why do you think you haven’t been able to accomplish them?

PROSPECT: (answers vary from person to person. They range from “I haven’t focused enough attention on accomplishing them” to “I have an unsupportive boss/spouse/family” to “I can’t seem to find the time or energy to devote to them” to “I’m stuck in a rut and I’m still trying to figure my way out,” and so on). 

ROBERTA: What if you were able to eliminate (here, she reiterates their specific challenge), how would your life change?

PROSPECT: (again – answers vary.)

ROBERTA: What if I told you I have a unique approach to help you take care of (that specific challenge), which will help you get from where you are to where you want to be – not in a few years, but within the next 60 to 90 days? Would you be interested in a 15-minute free consultation to talk about how I might do that for you?

PROSPECT: Sure – why not?

At this point, she takes her business card out and asks what day and time would suit the prospect for a free consult. When the prospect answers, she writes the appointment on the card and hands the card to the prospect, telling the prospect to call her at the appointed date and time. She then turns the card over and points to a diagram on the back.

ROBERTA: Before you call me, I’d like you to do something fun. I’d like you to do this quick exercise here and tell me what your answer is when you call me. Then I’ll explain what what your answer means.

PROSPECT: Okay, you got it. I’ll call you then.

Do you see what she did? She managed to get a prospect interested in her services in a matter of one or two minutes, and she generated a lead that might eventually turn into a client, which of course, was her objective.

Let’s examine the conversation more closely to see how it relates to our recipe. When prospects ask Roberta about her work, she uses it as an opportunity to identify their problems (Ingredient 1). Instead of making an educated guess about what their problem(s) might be, she makes the prospects identify their own challenges by asking them to think of the top three things they have yet to accomplish. Then she asks why they haven’t been able to accomplish them yet (Ingredient 2).

Roberta next asks the what-if question; that is, she makes prospects imagine how life would be different if the problem(s) were eliminated (Ingredient 3).

After her prospects answer the question, Roberta mentions her unique approach to helping them take care of the problem(s) so they can get from where they are in life to where they want to be in the next 60 to 90 days (Ingredient 4). This is followed up with an offer of a free 15-minute phone consultation at an appointed date and time (Ingredient 5). The fun exercise on the back of the card is a devise she employs to make sure prospects call her and to minimize no-shows.

Roberta’s networking sales pitch is one small example of just how powerful the recipe is. Especially when your prospect identifies their own predicament for you, and creates their own perfect scenario of how life is different once that problem is solved.

Assignment: Outline your own networking strategy using the above as a model. Go back to the 5 Starter Recipe Questions you’ve already answered.

When you model success, you need to model the strategy, not the result (meaning you don’t mimic someone else’s writing style, you simply use the technique).

The recipe is one of the most important strategies you can learn. If you follow it, it’s almost impossible to be stumped for what to say, or to experience writer’s block. You won’t struggle to be creative or clever or amusing or profound. You just use the facts.

In our next lesson, we’ll start to make those facts come alive for other marketing purposes.

That’s it for today. Go rest – you deserve it! Your next lesson will be served up shortly!