Finally, a chance to party. We rarely go out these days. Dressed and ready to go, we headed out the door. Just as we were about to get in the car I froze. I noticed we were early.
“Let’s wait ten minutes. I don’t want to be the first one there.”
I know the host of the party, but we’re not best buds or anything like that. Being early sometimes creates an awkward feeling.
Should I force a conversation with the few people already there… even if I don’t want to?
Should I offer my help in setting up? Seems weird when you don’t know them that well.
By arriving just a little bit late I can avoid that awkward feeling of forced conversations. I avoid that uncertainty of what should I do until everyone gets here. Once there’s a decent size crowd I could blend in and pick and choose exactly who to hang out with.
That’s my reason for arriving late. Maybe I’m just an introvert or maybe just a little weird. Some people arrive late to look cool. I would guess even the cool crowd prefers fashionably late to avoid the awkwardness.
Here’s the crazy thing.
There are times when I prefer to arrive early. Sometimes I know the hosts well. In that situation I prefer to catch up with them before the party kicks into high gear. I feel more of a comfort level in that dynamic.
So, what does all this have to do with persuasion? The comfort level your prospect feels with you plays into how likely they are to buy into your products, services or ideas. If you’re an unknown (or little known) commodity, don’t expect him to jump on board first. Just like at a party, he avoids that awkward feeling of showing up first and thinking now what.
The ones you already know and engage with are more likely to raise their hand and yell me first. They’ll want that extra attention from you before the masses jump on board and eat up your time.
Fashionably Late or Anxiously Early?
It’s a simplistic but helpful way to look at your prospects before you pitch them. Will they arrive early because they’re anxious to get more of you? Or, would they rather arrive fashionably late? The fashionably late still want to join the party, but they fear that awkward feeling of just me so far?
Think about this in other areas of your marketing or branding. Would you ever join a Facebook group set up by a stranger? We’ve all done it. Right? Here’s the million dollar question. Would you join a Facebook group set up by a stranger… even if you were the first person to join? I bet you would hesitate on that one. What do you think?