Once upon a time, there was a Business Development Manager who wanted to make sure his kingdom was widely known across the world. He therefore sent carrier dragons to all the neighbouring kingdoms to let them know about the wonders of his own one and tell them to visit it. 

The dragons were duly dispatched, incinerating a few villages en route, and eventually reached their destinations, their stomachs full of well-done sheep. One such dragon, let’s call him Tim, erupted into the throne room of the kingdom of, erm let’s call it Summertown, killing several guardsfolk in the process.

“THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME” Boomed Tim, as the population fled the throne room screaming.

“WE ARE THE BEST KINGDOM THERE IS” He added, and waited expectantly.

The queen of Summertown was too busy looking for an exit route to answer.

“ME AGAIN”, roared Tim, “HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO CONSIDER MY PROPOSITION? IT IS EXCELLENT. THE BEST. YOUR CHILDREN WILL WEEP IF YOU DO NOT TAKE IT UP.”

At this point, the queen’s most enterprising bodyguards strategically threw cans of spam at Tim until he flew out of the window muttering “95% OF PLACES BOOKED. ACT NOW”.

As the queen was recovering from this unexpected visit, she noticed a delegation of foreigners from a different neighbouring kingdom, let’s call it Inbound. This delegation did not immediately greet the queen, instead they did their best to help the population rebuild the parts of the palace that had been destroyed. They used new tools their kingdom had created to complete walls, or help a villager heal herself from an injury caused by Tim.

As they busied themselves, the queen approached them to thank them and introduce herself. They had a conversation in which it became clear that their kingdoms could benefit from an alliance of sorts. The queen bought their tools so they could keep reconstructing the damage the dragons had done. She also introduced the Inbound delegates to some of her other regal pals (and maybe a president or two). Their kingdoms flourished. Meanwhile, Tim, and the rest of his kingdom, had to eat spam forever. The END.

Yes, I have perhaps taken up the challenge of storytelling a little too literally here. The morality, as should be clear, is that Tim and his ilk were the villains in this story. They came blasting on the scene without a care for their prospects and expecting victory to be theirs. Did Tim do any research into the kingdom of Summertown? Did he ask the queen about herself before launching into his pitch? No, and no, and this is why he was ultimately unsuccessful compared to the helpful and attentive Inbound kingdom.

So how do you mimic the behaviour of Inbound, without having to retrain as brick layers? Doing your research, listening, and creating useful content are all obvious steps towards that.

One technique that we've found particularly useful here at Passle is ISTATOY, which you can read more about here. It's a technique where you approach a prospect by sharing with them an article (ideally one that you haven't written), which you think will be of value to them. ISTATOY is a great way of starting, or nurturing, a relationship with a prospect, without them needing to call their bodyguards to the rescue. Why not give it a try and stop being a Tim?