Rainmaking Recommendation #261 – May I have your permission?

It’s 2021, and I cannot believe that this has to be said – AGAIN! 

Get permission to market yourself and your services to others. 

In 1999, more than two decades ago, Seth Godin wrote a book entitled Permission Marketing.  He details that advertisements, telemarketing, and traditional advertising are really “interruption marketing” designed to take our attention away from what we are doing in the hopes that it will be able to sell us things. Yet, law firms are still paying big bucks to advertise their services.  And lawyers are either pitching their services to people who don’t want or need them, or they are afraid to pitch them because it feels too much like slimy sales.

First, I want to address the pitching of services to those who either do not want or need those services.  Daily (and this is not hyperbole), I receive at least three, if not so many more, pitches for services.  For example, when I wind up connecting with someone on LinkedIn, they immediately send me a direct message thanking me for connecting (which you should do) and a commercial for their services designed to induce me to buy what they sell.  This is wrong!

I’ve said it before – no one likes to be “sold.” Instead, they want to “buy.” 

So before you start pitching your services, before you start selling what you do to others, it is essential to create relationships that will allow them to choose. It’s important to educate others on what it is they are seeking when they have a problem with which you can solve. Finally, it is imperative for you to position yourself as the only choice.

The only way you do this is to ask them if you can educate them but with their permission. 

There are clients I have been working with for years who are still not on my newsletter list because they haven’t permitted me to do so.  But, when they sign up for my newsletter, that is explicit permission from them to offer my knowledge and my services if they want to take me up on the offer.

But asking their permission is not just a connection request on social media.  It is not just meeting them during a Zoom networking event. And, as the world opens up, it is not just meeting them at a networking event or conference.  You need to ask their permission to receive information or any type of contact from you.

And, it’s not that difficult – just ask.

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