I, like many others, hide most of my day behind a computer screen. Social media, messaging and emails allow me to stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues no matter where they are in the world. It’s so easy to sit and type, I sometimes forget how decisive face-to-face meetings can actually be.
Prior to a large event a few colleagues of mine and I were organising, we were looking for corporate sponsors to help fund a day of free workshops and a launch party in the evening. There were several companies which really stood out as partners we’d love to work with, but emails and calls mostly fell on deaf ears.
Less than a month before the big day, I happened to be at an award ceremony in Bath as part of a competition I was mentoring. One of the awards went to the company I most wanted to partner with. My ears pricked up immediately, I made a mental note of what the guy looked like and decided to hunt him down afterwards.
After the event, I found the company representative by the bar. I offered to buy him a drink with our free drink tokens and I just came out with it and asked him for money for our launch event. He asked a little about what our goal was and what they could get out of it and within five minutes we’d shaken on it.
I was gobsmacked. Had I known earlier it was this easy to ask for money, I’d have started years ago.
I, like many others, hide most of my day behind a computer screen, but by doing so we allow people to ignore us or to decline without any real thought. It’s much easier to receive criticism and much harder to adapt your proposition during an online conversation than when you’re standing in front of the person you are talking to. It may seem obvious, but spending all my day online, I’d forgotten just how rewarding it can be.
From now on, if I really need something, I will make much more of an effort to stand in front of the person and ask them out loud.