A: It doesn't matter. The light bulb has to want to change.
Lately, basically because of coincidence, I've been taking a lot of personality tests. These aren't the kind printed in magazines -- these are allegedly scientific, validatable instruments that categorize your behavioral type. From these, I have learned, or had reconfirmed:
1) My idea of a perfect working environment is borderline chaos.
2) I get bored very easily.
3) I'm an off-the-charts extrovert, and I also tend to rely on intuition much more than logic.
4) Relationships with other people are extremely important to me.
5) I thrive on variety, change and sometimes, risk, and am driven absolutely nuts by routine, bureaucracies and meetings.
This is all great, and very insightful, and maybe even actionable, but the real point of all this is sort of the opposite.
The real point is that many, perhaps even most of my clients, are not like this at all. If I am going to communicate successfully, and effectively, with them, I have to do it in a way that they can understand. This means slowing down, being more structured, less extroverted, and so on.
It seems obvious, but it's the single biggest problem in marketing. A lot of professional services marketing is done face-to-face, and in these situations, it's absolutely not about you. It's about the other person, the prospective client. That other person, like you, has a personality, and that personality has certain measurable, definable characteristics. If you are going to convince them of anything, or motivate them to take action, or even work with the successfully and collaboratively, you have to communicate with them in a way that is natural for them, and adapt your thought process and patterns to theirs.
If, for example, the other person has a decisive, action-oriented personality -- i.e., they're not into pondering, analysis or lengthy evaluation of things, then you are going to be a lot more effective with them if you begin your communication by getting right to the point.
If, on the other hand, your opposite number is more thoughtful, process-oriented, patient and analytic, if you come blasting in, full of let's-get-it-done enthusiasm, and just get to the point without explaining how you got there, you're going to alienate them, and possibly irritate them to some degree. You'll get a lot less done.
The single best piece of advice I could give anyone marketing any kind of service is to slow down, pay close attention to the other person's personality, and to communicate in ways that respect and will be understood by them.