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Systemizing Your Business: The Enrollment Conversation

December 30, 2008 | Customers, Enrolling Clients, Networking, Uncategorized | Sandye

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Thoughts from your Systems Goddess, Sandye Linnetz, Process Prodigy

A chance meeting... a networking meeting... an arranged business meeting... a social situation... When it comes to creating any kind of effective connection between you and another, it's all about relating and the art of enrollment.

Your Systems Goddess is an old-time graduate of the est Training and The Landmark Forum, and it was through this education that I learned a new definition - or distinction, if you will - for the idea of enrollment. Generally, we think of enrolling as "signing up"; maybe for a class or an offer on the internet. In "Landmark Speak" enrollment is "causing new possibilities to be present for another such that they are touched, moved, and inspired by that possibility.   For our purposes here, however, I have created a fusing of the two definitions and am using the word slightly differently. My Process Prodigy dictionary definition of enrollment is:

Enroll verb
Verb: To inspire people to move from a fixed (possibly even negative) "position" or attitude of "non-involvement" to being open (and willing) to look at a new idea or see something in a whole new way. "The potential customer was enrolled in the opportunity of doing business with me."

Enrollment Conversation noun
Noun: A verbal exchange where you speak in such a way that people will naturally shift from a fixed (possibly even negative) "position" or attitude of "non-involvement" to being open (and willing) to look at a new idea or see something in a whole new way. To bring someone "onboard"; in alignment with your ideas, thoughts and/or suggestions about what is possible. Causing someone to see new possibilities and even be excited by them!

I call it an enrollment conversation... Some call it SALESMANSHIP! Whatever you want to call it, it has to happen before you can move a potential client from stranger to your customer base.

So let's take a look at how to set up and have an enrollment conversation... anytime and anywhere... with anyone! Sound good? Let's go!

Doesn't matter if you are at a convention, a board meeting or at Starbucks for a quick caffeine boost; the process is the same.

• Identify your "enrollee"
• Introduce yourself
• Have a short, general conversation to discover any obvious, existing connections like friends, business associates or vendors in common
• If you can not easily see a "connection", move to one of several predetermined subjects (have a short list in your head), and search for common ground e.g. schools attended, places lived or visited, music, hobbies, sports, movies) Chat...
• Ask and then listen to the answers
• Choose a topic that feels safe for both of you - where there is no right or wrong. Share your point of view - as a point of view - not as "the truth" and invite the "enrollee" to safely do the same with you.
• Genuinely "communicate" something about that in an open and honest (but not embarrassing or revealing) way.
• Let the "enrollee" know who you are by sharing insights into your business ethics, a recent success or your view of the way things are.
• Bring the conversation around to what would be possible if you two worked together.
• Ask the "enrollee" what he/she thinks it might be like to work with you and explore that together. Listen without judgment or the need to protect yourself. Find out what the "enrollee" NEEDS and figure out how you can fulfill those needs TOGETHER.
• Expand on what you see would be possible from working together.
• Invite conversation about what is possible - let the "enrollee" convince YOU.
• Have your new client sign on the dotted line (okay, that's a different blog!)

This seems like a perfect place to remind you about Dale Carnegie - purported to be the quintessential master of human nature. Each of his principles of how to "Win Friends and Influence People" seems to have passed the test of time... work as well today as they did when first released. Don't disregard the importance of remembering names, asking questions instead of giving orders, speaking with others about their interests, emphasizing areas of agreement, giving people a reputation to live up to, and allowing people to come to your conclusions on their own. All of that is part of connecting and creating shared visions of what is possible in working together. And, beneath all of it is a simple, valuable lesson: if you choose to be genuinely interested in the people you want to work with and you let them know it, they will always be happy to work with you. That's called having a connection and that is the foundation of the system for creating an ENROLLMENT CONVERSATION!

© 2008 Beth Schneider, Process Prodigy, Inc. Want to reprint this article? Feel free as long as you include the following: Beth Schneider, President of Process Prodigy Inc., www.processprodigy.com, along with her team of highly sought after operations consultants, reveal the insider secrets billion-dollar corporations pay thousands of dollars for. Specializing in process creation, Process Prodigy tools and techniques have helped entrepreneurs increase productivity by as much as 600%, and revenues by as much as 250%. Visit www.processprodigy.com/ezine and grab your FREE systems starter kit valued at $297.00.


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