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Six Steps to Overcoming Your Fear of Inviting

The topic today is how to overcome your fear of inviting. Here’s where this topic comes from: in business development and life in general, we frequently have the opportunity to invite people to events. Examples include meetings for business networking groups we’re a part of, non-profit galas, or sales presentations done for the purpose of promoting our products or services. Whatever the case, my point is that many of us actually fear this act of inviting people. So we’re going to look at how to overcome that fear. Here are the six steps:

1. Admit. The first step is to admit that we have a problem. Certainly, there is a percentage of people (I would say 20% roughly) that don’t have this issue. But the rest of us tend to have a pretty healthy fear or limiting belief about inviting people. So the first thing to do is just to admit to yourself, “Hey, I have a problem with this. This is tough for me. This is a challenge.”

2. Be specific. What exactly are you afraid of? What’s your limiting belief? You may be concerned about being pushy, annoying, or bothersome. Perhaps you have the limiting belief that nobody’s interested in your event, so why bother inviting? Or maybe you think everyone’s too busy to attend your event. The list goes on and on. So really ask yourself, “Do I have some preconceived notion in my head that’s preventing me from doing this?” And call it out explicitly.

3. Ask. This is really important. Ask yourself if you truly believe in what you’re offering, what you’re inviting people to. If it’s a sales presentation, do you believe that when people come, they’re going to gain value? If it’s a non-profit gala, do you believe this organization is really serving a great cause? You have to hone in on the why, the ultimate reason you’re inviting people to this event. Once you understand that, the inviting part should become a little bit easier because now you have a clear purpose for doing so. Don’t let yourself forget about that reason.

4. Trigger. Think about a time in the past when you invited someone successfully and they came to your event. Think about that moment, which I call the trigger moment. Sometimes when you feel stuck, looking back on a past success and thinking about what you did then can really help. Recall how you felt when someone accepted your invitation, and when that person ended up having a great experience at your event.

5. Envision. Now, envision how many people you want to bring to the event. Let’s say your goal is five additional guests. Think about what it would feel like to have those five people there. Then decide on how many invitations you have to give out to reach that goal. A good rule of thumb is that for every person who attends, you probably need to invite ten total. This isn’t exact science obviously. I just want you to be prepared to invite lots of people. And be ready to face rejection or indifference, because that’s going to happen. It’s part of the game.

6. Invite. Now you’re ready to actually start inviting people. We’re going through the trigger moment. We’ve been successful in the past. We know this cause, this why, is important to us. We’re ready to rock and roll. Decide on how you will be sending out the invitations—is it via email? Phone calls? Face-to-face? Once you have a plan, consider getting extra accountability from a friend or someone else you trust. Then get comfortable, and let the inviting begin.

So go out and take action on this for your next event. Have a better than awesome day.