The short answer is, I don’t. Either my clients are motivated or they are not. I don’t see it as my job to motivate them, carrot and stick. But I do have a trick or two up my sleeve if they have a very special need.
Usually such a need is to make a specific sum of money within a certain time frame for a particular purpose.
So, for instance, clients might want to make £1,000 before Christmas, or to move house, or to fund a special trip or urgent project. Or they might need to get a certain number of hours of practice in at something they are new at, in order to meet qualification guidelines and timetable.
I rather like these actually as they get us out of our comfort zone and ready to ask for the business.
What I like to recommend in these circumstances is what I call my Challenge Anneka strategy. Do you remember Challenge Anneka? It was my favourite TV programme in the late Eighties. Anneka Rice would receive a challenge – say to build a children’s play garden in 7 days. She would leap into her helicopter (or I might be confusing that with another programme, actually) and rush to the site. Then use everything at her disposal, including her charm and her wiles, to persuade local people to help her. And those people would be so inspired by the project that they would donate time, and labour and materials. And hey presto, the job’s a good ‘un. I’d usually end up in tears. Bliss. Joy. Pride. Humbled. Inspired. Awestruck and happy to be reminded about the goodness of people.
You can apply telethon principles too. You can go quite mad with this idea, in a delicious way. You’ll buy a cupcake from a child whose made them for the fundraising at the school fete, won’t you? You’ll put pennies in a bucket for someone carol singing or dressing up for a good cause or giving up drinking or growing a moustache. Make your challenge a good cause, something we’ll want to play along with. Use crowdfunding principles to bonus us after we’ve said we’ll help. Engage us.
You really need a spreadsheet or – better still – a clipboard with a limited number of slots on it. And you divide the target sum you want to raise by the number of units you need to sell. And you make each unit a no brainer for the cause so that people will help you to achieve your goal. And you help them too by making the unit on sale attractive and unmissable and valuable and fun.
Draw us into your challenge. Tell us why you want it. Tell us what’ll happen, how this will help you, your clients, your business and us. Tell us precisely what sort of benefit we’ll achieve and describe the warm glow too.
It’s more exciting for you and it’s finite; you don’t have to do it forever. It’s broader than saying please buy something from me because I need the money. Tell us what you want to achieve by when and invite us to help. Some will. Some won’t. So what? It’s fun, it’s challenging and it just might make all the difference to your own motivation. And that’s the point. At the very least it’ll get you thinking differently and it will encourage you into action.
This sort of challenge can focus your mind. And once you have created your unmissable offering, your job is simply to talk about it everywhere and to everyone until your clipboard is full up. Don’t stop till you get enough.
There’s Anneka with her hard hat, her big paintbrush and her ENORMOUS mobile phone. Just for this challenge, you are she. Go Anneka!
When I come back, I am coming back as Anneka Rice in that TV show. I would LOVE that job.