Dance With Your Customer

I was lingering in the beautiful lobby of an advertising agency that had recently expanded into the Los Angeles market. The general manager of the agency was standing nearby, visiting with the receptionist about mailing out invitations to our first new business seminar.

Suddenly, our recently-hired business specialist breezed through the lobby on his way to another meeting. He had a steely, far-away look in his eye. He barely looked at any of us, even the Boss.

However, the Boss definitely looked at New Biz Guy as he confidently strode through the lobby.

“How we doing on the Jones thing?” said the Boss.

Without slowing his pace, New Biz Guy turned his head directly to the Boss and said the best two words any of us had heard in four weeks.

“We’re dancing,” said New Biz Guy with a very slight smile.

It was a hip response, something any salesperson would understand intuitively.

Our general manager’s eyes sparkled. He knew immediately what New Biz Guy was trying to say.

Our GM used to be a Creative Director, so he had written many clever headlines in his day. He still had a quip or two inside of him.

“Are we dancing the waltz? Or… (he raised his eyes in mock contemplation) are we dancing…the tango?”

Most of the folks standing around weren’t ballroom dance experts. But we all knew that the tango was more intense, more…seductive than the waltz.

New Biz Guy finally stopped in his tracks, sensing he had the chance to bring another smile to the GM’s lips.

“We’re not dancing the tango quite yet,” said New Biz Guy as the employees near the lobby stopped to hear in what direction this metaphor was moving. “But we’re definitely past the waltz.”

Everybody in the lobby exhaled slowly, then glanced at each other with relieved smiles.

“Great,” said our general manager, turning his eyes back to the invitations lying on the receptionist’s desk. “Keep dancing!”

Are you dancing with your customer? Are you co-creating, making moves together? Can you anticipate the next note or change of pace?

Most importantly, are you having fun in a way only business developers - and dancers - can have fun?

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