Getting the Gig

Last Updated Nov 3, 2008 1:19 AM EST

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Sylvia, a coaching client who was in a bit of a kerfuffle.

She'd heard on the grapevine that a big project was coming up with a past contact and it was work that suited her to a T.

What's more she was hungry for success.

Sylvia hadn't spoken to this business acquaintance for a while and was unsure what to do. Talking to Sylvia on the phone, I quickly steered the discussion away from business and instead reminisced about teenage courtship. As you do.

I wondered what a young admirer would have done if he'd fancied Sylvia and desperately wanted to take her out. Chances are he'd have paced nervously up and down, unsure what to do.

But what would Sylvia have wanted him to do? "I'd have wanted him to call!" she exclaimed. Well of course she would.

It feels nice to be pursued, doesn't it? What's more, it really doesn't matter what you think of the other party.

Even if you are totally disinterested, does your impression of that person decline? Not at all, in fact the reverse is usually true.

How sensible to pursue! How courageous! It's quite possible you'll refer to a friend or even keep your devotee in the wings for some later date. Let's not go there.

In business, if we see something we want, a project or challenge that we know is screaming out for our input and we have a line of communication open with a decision maker (or decision influencer), we should just get on the phone or burst into their office and say it.

Straight out, say it.

Sylvia did. She got on the phone and said words to the effect: "I know that Project X is coming up soon and I'd like to work on it. What do I need to do to be considered?"

Surprise, surprise, it looks like she's getting the gig. Her contact was bowled over by her passion and energy and told her that she'd just done everything she needed to do.

After all, what sort of provider do you want handling your business --- someone who's so-so, or someone who's got the hots?

Have you got experiences to share? Post a comment and let's hear it.

  • Robert Gerrish

    Robert Gerrish is a coach, author and professional speaker and the founder of Flying Solo (, the Australian online community for solo business owners.