A publicity strategist explains how to approach important people without feeling awkward or annoying

Selena Green DressSelena SooStop stressing. Business and publicity strategist Selena Soo is pictured.

Approaching important people can be awkward.

They’re busy. They’re successful. And they probably don’t want to talk to you — right?

On Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income podcast, Flynn asked business and publicity strategist Selena Soo, “How do you respond to somebody who says, ‘Selena, I’m too afraid to go up to somebody?'”

Soo, who calls herself “a really big introvert” explains that she tells herself two things:

First, “
the moment you put someone on a pedestal is the moment they start looking down on you,” she said. She continued:

“It’s not to say that we can’t appreciate and admire people, but if we’re approaching someone and in our head we’ve got this internal dialogue like, ‘Who am I to talk to them? I’m nothing. I’ve accomplished nothing in my career. I’m just a beginner. What can I have to offer? They’re just a much bigger deal. I don’t want to bother them,’ we’re bringing that kind of negative energy and unbalanced dynamic into the relationship. The thing is we’re all equal as people, and I know for me and many others we love talking to people who appreciate our work.”

She points out that, as a coach for people who run seven-figure businesses, she’s sometimes in the position where people want to meet her. “In fact, when I’m at an event and someone comes up to me and will say, ‘I got so excited to come to this event when I saw that you were a speaker,’ or, ‘I’m on your newsletter list. I love that recent email that you shared about X, Y, Z,’ all of a sudden they’re the most interesting person in the room to me,” she said. “The truth is that we care about people who care about us.”

The second thing she tells herself, she told Flynn, is a question: What’s the worst that can happen? “I mean, there have been situations where I’ve been in the room with very influential people. I know that if I don’t say hi now, I might never see them again,” she said, “so let me just go up to them, and just say hi, and talk to them for a minute or two … Really, what’s the worst that could happen?”

Listen to the full podcast ยป

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