The Indecent Crete Proposal How one very strange date in my 30s still applies to the way I do business today.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Back in my 30s, single, dating and living in Palm Beach, I had some rather crazy experiences. The highlight reel includes a CEO in his 40s telling me his mom would need to come with us on our first date and a more-money-than-senses mogul who chartered a private yacht and five-star chef to ease a breakup convo. But those are stories for another time, because this is about the craziest night of them all.
Here's what happened: One night, when I was at a local hangout spot I enjoyed more for the people watching (trust-fund kids mingling with the visitors) than anything else, I happened to chat with someone visiting town. He seemed nice enough, with a great accent, a charming smile and interesting conversation. He asked me to dinner later that week, and I agreed.
We met at a local Mexican restaurant. The food was good, the conversation was fun and light, and so when he asked if I was up for getting a cocktail afterwards at one of my favorite establishments nearby, I agreed.
When we met up there is when things got weird. While sipping on a spicy mojito, still one of my favorite cocktails in spite of this evening, he started talking about "our future plans." I could visit him in Boston — this person I had spent about 90 minutes with so far. I was not ready for that.
I replied, "That is very nice, but let's see how tonight goes before we rush into travel plans." But that didn't deter him. In fact, he came on harder. He suggested I travel with him to his home in Crete. As I got more uncomfortable, he came on even stronger with, "We can move to Crete, and you will have my babies there."
Cue the exit.
I quickly mumbled that I needed to grab something from the bar, hightailed it over and asked the bartender to walk me to my car because I was rightfully freaked out by this guy's aggression. It was then that he starts chasing me down the street, banging on my window and running after my moving car, followed by a lot of voicemails left of crazy confessions of love after I was gone.
Um, no thank you. It was bizarre, pushy and way too much. Rumor has it he ended up getting arrested a week later for punching a club bouncer. Not surprised.
No, I never saw him again, but I have seen a lot of businesses make similar mistakes when it comes to their marketing. They may not be chasing down their dates with promises of living in foreign lands, but they do try and sell at hello, without offering value first or building trust.
Thankfully, there is a better way. You can quickly attract your perfect prospect and get them to chase you instead of the other way around. Start first with value, then ask for the opt-in, and then the sale. Or to put it another way, date for a minute before asking her to go on vacation with you.
For example, my company is putting on a virtual three-day conference about how to launch your first course and scale it to six and seven figures, but I am not advertising straight to the sales page. Instead, I am putting on free workshops on how we went from 100 webinar attendees to 1.7 million in revenue from a course.
Giving value before asking them to give me their time and money. That is the key. Are you asking for the sale too soon Try adding more value in first to multiply the number of yeses you get. Spicy mojito optional.