Ben and I are coming to the end of our first month together, working through his business ‘ideal’ to establish where he’d like to take his life experience.
The family business of Cordwainer has been sold and with Ben not wishing to be part of the new ‘set up’ we’re on a path of discovery. Ben is still a young man with an admirable hunger for success although he simply lacks the odd tool in the box …
We’ve been through the plan, appreciating persistence is required, that there is a doggedness required to establish credibility. Trust takes time.
Ben identified the steps to guide him on his path and is resolved to working on the Unique Selling Points (or USP.)
But something was troubling Ben.
“Selling points just frighten me to bits Charlie, I’m no salesman.”
Enter coffee. A tasty Colombian together with a great looking carrot cake that need not wait for further attention.
I explained to Ben that it was all about leverage. The connections, to which came the expected ‘social media’ comparison. Ben was aware of the importance of people in his zone, not so much the significance. Ben simply needed a little help with the one to one engagement.
“Even the most accomplished networker misses the trick Ben. Regularly meeting with our support network is great for business. Results can take time, we need to continually ‘fan the flames’ with familiarity and a little nurturing to enable the occasional glimmer to become something more significant.
“This significant business comes with the one to one, that meeting “off-piste” as it were, over more cake if you dare … when we dig a little deeper, learn more about each other and in particular our greater circle of contacts.
To some we know this step is simply ‘too much hard work…’ to which my response is – have you ever gained anything significant without putting in the effort?
Ben was on his ‘second slice …’
“Ben,” I continued, ‘you are the best sales person you know. You alone know your product or service better than anyone else, you just need to relate to the wider audience, explain what it is you are looking for … and how you can help them.’
Not keen on making the connection with someone in particular?? Sitting down with the most unlikely strategic ally can bring great results.We learn from each other.
Your colleague may not provide you with the next customer or significant business order although he or she may know who could. Or better still, he/she may be the person to help your nearest and dearest when required …
Sit yourselves down offline Ben. Relationships matter. Make the appointment and spend some time to understand the nature of the business of those around you and just how it is you can help.
It could be the best decision you make, and your colleagues will be thanking you for your time.
No need to act as salesman. Make the connection, find your audience and define the benefits of working with you, then advise how you can help.