Image Source: <a href="https://www.gearpatrol.com/outdoors/a153575/celebrating-trick-play-footballs-great-deception/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Gear Patrol</a>

“Hey Joe – I see you’re based in Florida. Heard a lot of people are moving from California to Florida. You’ve probably seen that happen first hand the past couple of years, right?

Wanted to know if you’re interested in how I can create 15 branded social posts for Soul Patch Hippo: Success Coaching? I’ll create the posts from scratch, so they match your branding vision.”  

And throw the flag!

What got me to open it was that my email box only showed the first sentence and it sounded like someone who knew me.  Though I didn’t recognize the name, it could have been a fellow coach from one of my group activities or a friend of a connection.  Instead, it was the ol’ fumblerooskie.  One of those trick plays you made in the backyard Neighborhood Bowl that is supposed to get the defense thinking someone else is carrying the football and before you realize it, the ball is going in the other direction. Yep, this was a case of a clear cut fakey, with me thinking that the ball was moving in a familiar way.  I’d been had!

So why all the subterfuge?  Why not do a little research into what coaching is, what coaches struggle with, what my specific business is all about, to at least get me thinking in this person’s direction?  This is lazy selling and what makes other non-sales professionals hate sales professionals!  Instead of looking the other way, I just left the field fully annoyed by my well-earned disruption.  (Hey, it got me so annoyed that I’m writing to you about this stuff!)

It’s really simple –  

  • Write a relevant subject line that makes the recipient curious or connect to themselves. Be bold and truthful.  A little mystery is OK here.
  • Once opened, bring me something that relates to me! Show me others in my world experience similar situations!
  • State my problem or opportunity like you’re the expert that you are.
  • Show me how you’ve helped others with some sort of result other than “we help a lot of coaches.”
  • Ask “Would you be opposed to a meeting to discuss?” (Kudos to Chris Voss here on using negative phrasing to seek a positive response, it’s a real gem of conversation.)

And let the chips fall where they may! Additional reapproaches are now available because you were transparent, acted with integrity, and you showed that you can and want to help my agenda before your agenda.

Even if this person had something interesting to say or do for me – other than something that I can and like to do myself – I will at least read it; I might even file it or pass it on to someone who I know is looking for it.  I won’t block or JUNK file it.  Such a miss here.

Thinking back to trick plays there are several variations of the fumblerooski, but they all rely on the element of surprise and misdirection, as the play is easily stopped and a turnover could result if a defender notices the ball being placed on the turf.

Yep.  That’s where ball still sits.  While I’ve moved on, taken my other hippos and left the pond.  Beware though, hippos have long memories…

“Hello curious human.  If you’ve made it this far, then curiosity and awareness are two of your superpowers. Ready to go to the next level?  Consider the wild idea of investing in you! New programs are available! Why wait any longer?!?  Here’s a link to start creating that discussion right now!

Featured Image Source: Gear Patrol
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