On not playing it cool


Enthusiasm. It’s contagious, isn’t it? The moment that you’re in the company of someone who’s passionate about what they do, their energy rubs off on you and you find yourself feeling more upbeat, too. It’s a wonderful thing when that happens. Yet so often, in a bid to appear Extremely Professional, we keep our excitement hidden - probably to protect ourselves from being vulnerable. Here’s why that’s not such a great thing, and why you shouldn’t play it too cool…

So, here’s what happened…

Last year, while planning out our marketing strategy for Ditto, I made some notes about the kinds of businesses I’d love to work with. I was really thinking about the sorts of businesses that’d be a good fit for our ethos; amongst others, I had ‘wild wedding venue’ (we’re working with one right now!), ‘farmer’ and ‘organic florist’. I felt that all of these were likely to fit with our style and design aesthetic and would be brands we could do an amazing job for - plus, they’d look right at home in our portfolio. This kind of profiling exercise can be immensely helpful in focusing your marketing message, which is precisely what it did for me. Anyway, imagine how excited I was when I had a lovely enquiry from a florist who grows her own flowers! I could barely contain the grins.

After an initial chat, she decided she was ready to sign up to work with us. Hoorah! I sent her a note telling her that I’d been wanting to work with a florist for ages, and that I was particularly keen to work with a florist who grows their own flowers – I love the home grown element of it, the seasonality of it and how kind it is to the environment to grow flowers in your own plot rather than ship flowers in from Holland, as most do. She responded with so much enthusiasm, saying how wonderful it was to know that we were so excited to work with her and that she couldn’t wait to get started.

And then it struck me

When I sent that email, I had a choice. I could’ve played it cool, simply sending her the information she needed and leaving it there. Instead, I told her how happy I was to welcome her on board – and the energy of that message inspired a surge of enthusiasm from her. With one simple email, our relationship instantly ramped up a gear as she felt more valued, more excited, more at home – she’d found someone as inspired about her business as she is. She’d found someone just like her.

What if we let go of the idea of playing it cool?

Think about how it feels when someone shows you how pleased they are to see you; how that instantly lifts your mood. I’m certain that you’re nothing short of polite when you speak to prospective clients, and that’s great – but what if you responded to them with a genuine, heartfelt enthusiasm? Think about how that could transform the way people feel about working with you!

Make it work for you

This is so easy to implement. Whether you have a shop, whether you’re a consultant, whether you run a restaurant… no matter what kind of business you have, greet everyone with the warmth and ease that you’d extend to a good friend. And when you meet someone who’s exactly the right match for your business, tell them! Try this; ‘I think you’ll particularly love what we do here because of….’ and simply tell them the reason that you’re excited to get to know them.

A quick idea to narrow in on those dream clients

The easiest way to tell people that they’re in good company is to be upfront about the sorts of people who you do your best work with. I’ve seen photographers feature a ‘bucket list’ of the types of weddings they’d love to photograph, which immediately helps them to zone in on the kinds of clients they want. If that’s not your style, perhaps you could consider adding a paragraph to your website where you speak about the kinds of people you do your best work with? And when someone who fits the bill gets in touch, tell them that they’re exactly the kind of person you’d love to work with – watch the difference it makes!