07 Aug How To Override FEAR When Meeting With A Brand
People often tell me that the idea of talking to, or meeting with, decision makers at big brands fills them with absolute dread.
We feel fear when we’re not in control. It’s instinctive.
It was programmed into us millions of years ago to help us sense danger, and know when to leg it in order to survive an unwanted encounter with a Sabre-toothed tiger.
There’s something about being in the presence of people in power that immediately flicks on the ‘fear switch’ inside of us. We feel inferior or inadequate, sometimes intimidated and, more often than not, downright scared.
Of course, the higher up the corporate ladder that person sits or the more successful they are, the more we doubt ourselves and everything we’ve worked on that has lead to this very moment…and then there’s more fear because:
We’re not in control.
So what’s the solution? Well, to re-gain control, obvs!
Okay, that’s easier said than done, I geddit. That’s why I have a few fear-hacks of my own that I like to keep tucked away in my sleeve for those high pressure moments in a big brand office.
So, the next time you feel like your heart is going to beat out of your chest, try one(or all!) or these:
1. Take deep breaths.
Seems like obvious advice, but it’s surprising how easily we forget to breathe when we’re in a high-pressured situation, so here’s me reminding you to do it.
Also, science says that deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and kicks in the calm by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. This regulates your bodies relaxation response, and just 30 seconds of this before you go into the meeting will help you to gather your thoughts and to regain control.
2. Stay Hydrated
Have sips of water before you go into the meeting with the brand to help you stay refreshed and alert.
Continue to have sips of water during the meeting so that your throat doesn’t end up dry and cracking mid-sentence. Also, picking up the glass or bottle every so often gives you something to do if you’re feeling a bit fidgety without looking awkward.
If you don’t have any water with you, and nobody has offered you any (urrgghh, where’s the hospitality?!), then don’t be afraid to ask for some. Try not to gulp the water though – there’s nothing worse than really needing to pee halfway through the crucial conversation!
3. Try and view the brand representatives as your equal
It’s important to remember the reason you’re in the meeting in the first place. If you’re not sure, it’s because you have something of value that they are interested in connecting with – whether that’s your ideas, your product, your service, your project or your community. See, If they weren’t interested, they wouldn’t have given you the opportunity to talk to them…yep, that’s how that works. So right now they need information from you to understand how they can best access that thing you’ve got to offer. Believe it or not, you already have a considerable level of control.
When talking to them, try and be yourself – as if you were with friends or colleagues you know well. Be relaxed and informal…though if you’re inclined to drop an f-bomb in general conversation with your mates try and leave that one out of the boardroom until the brand are a little more familiar with your personality 👀
When you’re having the conversation about the thing you’d like for them to support, don’t think of it sponsorship pitch. Think of it as an opportunity to help them to have access to that thing of value you have. Be more of an ‘advisor’ and help them to understand the in’s and out’s of your thing, rather than being a salesperson who’s simply trying to seal the deal and run.
4. Remember that you're the expert here
You know your thing better than anyone – that’s why you’re in the meeting room and the brand are looking to you for answers!
I recently realised that in order to be recognised as an ‘expert’ you don’t need to know everything – you just need to know a teeny bit more about your field, industry or market than the person on the other side of the desk from you. #TrueStory.
With this in mind (and to remain at expert level 1000 as far as they’re concerned!), make sure you’re as prepared for the meeting by swotting up and identifying opportunities where you can help to elevate their business or brand. The decision makers are looking to you to show them the best way to move forward, and if they’re confident in your ability to guide them, they will let you lead.
5. Don't forget that the person sitting opposite you is human too.
Behind that job title, corner office and (sometimes) stern persona is someone who also deals with fear.
They have worries and insecurities of their own. They feel inferior in the presence of their bosses and inadequate against their peers.
Yep, these people in positions of authority in massive companies are just like you, so if it seems like they’re being abrasive or aggressive or arrogant, the likelihood is that this is their mechanism for dealing with fear. Be kind. Give them your winning smile. Gently guide them into your world and show them that there was never anything to be afraid of to begin with.
Now THAT’S what we call control…and fear has officially left the building! 😉
Hope this has been helpful! If you have any questions, include them in the comments below and I shall be back shortly to answer them as best I can.
P.S. Have you downloaded your copy of ‘7 Easy Ways To Supercharge Your Big Brand Sponsorship Strategy’ yet? It’s the ultimate playbook full of advice based on my own experiences in landing billion dollar brands. Grab your free copy HERE!
P.P.S. If you’re an influencer or entrepreneur and would like to work with me personally to land a brand, send me a message here and let me know what you’re up to and what you’d like to work with me on and I’ll get you all the details!