Fail sometimes. It’s ok.

 

So how about a salesperson Sally? Who looks after sales within your organisation??

Employ someone? Where am I going to get a salesperson that understands my business, Charlie?

Fair comment I thought to myself, we’ve all asked the same question.

I knew that Sally was a sole trader and the question from me was an honest one. Sally had her bookkeeper, relied on some freelance and just now was worrying about the struggle for new business.  Social media brought the odd enquiry although nothing substantial.

Besides Charlie, I don’t think I could burden the business with the cost of an extra person, even if it were part-time. I would worry about their messages, fear for their rejection, the critique acquired through competitor comparison … if that makes sense.

It does. So, you’re going to come along and find out how networking may help?

Yes, next week. It’s early, which is good as just now, it’s the only time I have Charlie and I feel I need to be more accountable for new business, for sales.

Fear of transparency, failure as a consequence of taking the opportunity, stepping out of the comfort zone is commonplace Sally. The very thought of turning up and engaging a room of expectant strangers is enough to undermine any thoughts of a great first impression … but … the positive to networking can be profound.

So when should I expect results?

I’m just as impatient Sally, although when I started networking I soon found out that not everyone is in the marketplace for my services at the same time. Networking ‘works’ with calculated patience.

You already know and understand that you are the best qualified to offer your business services. The ‘selly-sell’ is not required.

Be prepared to fail sometimes, show your vulnerable side … (develop empathy.)

If you can keep your eye on the ‘why am I doing this?’  Clearly explaining this to your audience, by being concise you will soon find support.

Benchmark your efforts Sarah. Deliver consistent messages over a given period of time and adjust your presentation accordingly, for ‘the room’ or seasonally to suit your business, create the trust among your audience to realise the opportunity, the ‘bizability.’

Something else, don’t forget to have fun Sarah, smile.

At 7 am?

People buy from people Sally.

You, want to help me?

Yes Ian, I know someone who can help you with that …

My friend had expressed a need for a specific kind of business support. With my offer being anything but extraordinary, I was somewhat taken aback with the reply:

You do? But, why would you want to help me?

I quickly explained that helping others is simply something that I like to do, it’s part of my nature and by offering my support I feel good. As a people-person, it helps me when I am able to assist another. I’ve also learned that it’s good for business.

I was a little concerned after Ian fell silent …

Surely there must be something I need to offer you in return for your help?

Er, no, nothing at all. I replied. Although if my advice and introduction does help you in some way I’d be grateful if you would mention my name during the discussion?

A little later the presentations had finished and as the room emptied of delegates I caught up with Ian once again.

So many people wanted to help me today Charlie, why is that?

Ask Zig Ziglar … it’s the age-old formula for success Ian. You asked for help … and you received it!

You mean, if you don’t ask, you don’t get?

Exactly. We need to know what it is you are looking for, in order to help you …

Any concerted networker understands that by developing common ground we find clarity, going a long way to further the personal introduction, the lead and ultimately referral.

Trust is the important factor in any relationship, that’s why we meet regularly, trust empowers all of us, qualifies us to help as many people as possible.

Developing our own reputation as that go-to person goes a long way in developing the business. Engage, develop, grow …

The Christmas Presence

So, it’s not long ’til Christmas! What are you planning between now and then Charlie?

My friend and I were meeting to discuss the opening chapter for his new book – something I was looking forward to getting started prior to the annual holiday. Coffee and the pastries were ordered as we sat down…

Well, you know what Chris, I’m most likely to be working on something or other, engaging the people that matter in my life while keeping ‘ahead of the business expectation.’

Surely working for yourself though, you can afford to put your feet up at some point Charlie? A change of scene, a short break perhaps?

The ‘Danish’ arrived with a pause as we considered our choice … the coffee smelt good.

Chris worked for a national company and his available ‘free’ time is generally weekends and with a young family, he was of course pretty much distracted with the various demands/expectation of family life. Christmas holiday is family time.

‘I’m very lucky in that respect Chris. I have certain flexibility although the work I carry out on behalf of my clients demands a certain presence and carrying out my work at home, I’m able to balance the application of time to ensure all is left in good shape until I’ve returned.’

‘I like to keep ahead of the game Chris. This way I’m able to offer a little more presence to family, friends and the business. Whenever that is needed.’

So no holiday during Christmas Charlie?

‘I’ll be making sure I’m with loved ones Chris, like yourself I understand the value of presence, being there when required.’

So glad you were able to find the time to listen to my draft ideas Charlie, seems like there are just not enough hours in the day … I need to be back at the office, see you in the New Year?

Time is the greatest gift Chris, wait, take another Danish, I’ve enjoyed your Christmas presence.

Happy Christmas!