My six year old niece started her first swim lessons this week. Monday she was nervous and thought about bailing out of lessons – little did she know that her granny was going to make her go in the water if she liked it or not. After 30 minutes of class with two other little kids and a whole lot of attention by the instructor, she was able to blow bubbles and get ¾ of her face in the water.
Tuesday she was much braver. She swam 42 loops (in the baby pool) with her arm bands on and loved it. She was really getting the hang of it yet still she wouldn’t put her face completely in the water – it was a bit too scary.
Wednesday I told her I’d give her $1 if she put her whole face in and low and behold, I’m $1 poorer today. She also was able to swim with the kickboard and holding on to the instructor. She went as far as the middle of the pool.
Today, Thursday, she was swimming by herself in the big pool. The instructor would stand in the middle of the big pool and she’d kickboard out to him. When she got to him, he’d pick her up and throw her back in the pool and she’d be completely under water. She’d pop back up, swim to the side and then head out back to him where he would throw her again to be completely submerged in water. She loved it!
Think of your references the same way. Sometimes your contact will not have done one before and might need some hand holding or guidance. Take baby steps with them and once they feel comfortable working with you on a press release and/or case study, introduce them to the idea of speaking with the press and then maybe an analyst or a video testimonial. They might even look to their PR or Legal department to get approval and might get shot down. That’s okay, my niece didn’t learn to swim or stick her head completely under water in a day but by the time she’s done with her lessons next week she’ll be a pro!