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The Pregnant Pause: Allowing prospects to self-select


Before my path led me to start my own business, I learned many things during my years in Corporate America and in agencies. One particularly useful tactic from my agency days—although intended as a pushy sales tactic—actually has merit when put to good use.

In meetings with prospects to present our proposal (in response to having listened to their needs in a previous meeting), we might encounter some push-back. “Well, I don’t think we need all that.” Or, “I think that’s too expensive.” To that response we would say, “Well, perhaps, we are not the right agency for you,” pause, and push our chairs back.

The pause gave them pause, if you will. They thought about the alternative—staying with what wasn’t working—or maybe, it was the thought of losing control over the situation—being rejected instead of executing the rejection. Something flipped the switch. If they had been on the fence, it forced them to fish or cut bait.

It allowed them to self-select and come to a decision point.

And, that is just what effective branding should do: help your ideal customers choose you. Position yourself to reach customers who are a good fit—those for whom you can do your best work and who can derive the most benefit from your products or service. Good branding lets the right customer take a moment and commit to work with you.

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