Jumping From First Date to Marriage Proposal

alignment authentic copywriting joyful copy strategy success writing tips

The way we approach life and business says a lot about who we are as individuals.

Some see everything as a negotiation.

Al Pacino and Keanu Reeves’ exchange in The Devils Advocate comes to mind when Al’s character asked: “Are we negotiating?” And Keanu’s character responded: “Always.”

Others live by the motto “always be closing.” This approach was demonstrated to me yesterday when an email introduction required me to fill out an activation form just to schedule a networking call with them.

One of the mandatory questions asked me to rank when I was ready to make an investment.

Talk about an immediate turn-off. 

That’s like asking someone to marry you on the first date. 

(A guy did that to me when I was in my 20s. Crazy, right?! Needless to say, the date ended early, and I never went back out with him.)

Strive to Create Life-Long Connections (and Potential Customers)

Then there are some people — like me — who embrace the relational approach to connecting with others. 

Relational living and marketing will find you and me taking necessary steps to:

  • Get to know people through conversation and coffee chats
  • Ask questions to gain understanding
  • Learn about what’s on the other person’s heart and mind
  • Take time to listen to heartfelt needs
  • Respect a different point of view
  • Model core values by showing up authentically
  • Display sincerity and kindness without underhanded manipulation
  • Find ways to help others and expect nothing in return

The ways to build relationships in all aspects of life and business, and even your copywriting, are endless.

Scroll back to study that bulleted list and ask yourself when is the last time you used those techniques in your business writing and marketing?

If you Google “relationship marketing,” you’ll see billions of sources touting how cultivating relationships is an important part of sales and marketing.

And I might add that it is also an important approach for how we do life. 

In my book, Joyful Copy: How to Show Up in the Marketplace Ethically and Authentically—I discuss ways to show up authentically through your business by filtering what you write through attributes like joy, peace, love, kindness, and more. 

One example I share for practicing joy came from my mom. 

“Her approach is to help others without expectations. She does this by complimenting everyone she encounters—even strangers. I know that may sound odd, but it is part of her DNA and something she learned from her father.

When Mom passes out joy, she’s instantly memorable and has more friends than she or I can count. But when you spread joy, make sure you do it with sincerity because most people can tell when your joy and encouraging words are fake. In Mom’s case, she has an added bonus because she has cultivated a list of friends—new and old —with whom she can easily connect and on whom she can depend because her focus has been on them.”

After encountering an “always be closing” potential networking contact yesterday, it made me pause to evaluate the ways I’m showing up in life and business.

(Candidly, I want to make sure I am consistently aligning with the values and best practices I embrace. )

Who or What Are You Emulating?

It can be easy to forget about building relationships when you start focusing on what other gurus do.

Without meaning to, you might find yourself using high-pressure sales tactics to get people to take action.

Case in point, a workshop I took not that long ago advocated pressuring people to take action by building in countdown timers and upsells every step of the prospect journey. 

Pressuring people to make decisions quickly is like asking for marriage on your first date. It is very self-serving.

Since relationship building and authenticity cannot exist when you use high-pressure tactics, why do it?

While that approach will certainly work to move the needle, it will also cost more than you realize because you run the risk of alienating people.

Sure, you may create short-term wins. But you also run the risk of sacrificing long-term relationships that would benefit you both from over time.

How Are You Showing Up?

Now it is your turn. Take a moment to reflect on how you’re showing up in life and business. 

Which approach would a casual observer see when they watch you?

  •  Always negotiating
  •  Always closing (think high-pressure sales and forced decisions)
  •  Relationship building

If you’re interested in ways to stand out and be different in today’s me-focused, money-motivated society—follow the relational living and marketing communications steps I bulleted earlier.

Pull out one nugget and practice it regularly.

When you do, I promise you that the right people will be drawn to you and what you do. In turn, they will buy at the right time.

Perhaps you already use one of the approaches I mentioned and find it works well for you.

Or maybe you’re ready to make a change but unsure of how to move in that new direction.

Either way, I’d love to hear how you’re showing up in life and business. 

Kindly pause for a moment to send me an email and let me know what is working for you or how you might be stuck. I promise to respond with affirmation, questions, or ideas to move you forward.

Until next time… Be blessed,


Proverbs 16:3