Your story?

So, what’s your story?

How do you, stick in the mind?

All around us, media often appears full of ‘stuff’ designed ~ just for you ~ right at ‘peak times,’ perhaps the ‘stuff’ hits you just before you jump in the car and head off to the office … over the car radio, during lunch break, the commute home maybe. Everywhere there are stories to stick in your face so that it’s stuck in your mind.

So, the way I see it, being sticky can be useful if we are to be successful in business life. Business/life, closely aligned, right?

Think about how people remember you. What do they recall of you when next you catch up or more importantly when they meet up with mutual friends at the regular network soirée?

Being a witness to the conversation, would it be something you’d expect? Are you remembered as being the best that you can be?

The thing is, every interaction we have with someone leaves an impression, sometimes a lasting one. So for me (I know this is also true for many of my close friends), it’s important that MY STORY is a faithful representation of what others expect of me, each time we meet up.

Why? Because each of us is our own mini media outlet.

‘What?’ I hear you say, just hang on a minute, bear with me for a second …

It’s true. What kind of sticky are you? What stories do you conjure, what memories evoked, how do people see you in their life? It’s just the same as that current ‘hot’ company vying for your time and attention before you’ve even ordered the best-ever morning coffee and … the cake!

Showing kindness on a regular basis is important. Agreed. Love? That’s a no-brainer for me as well, but in today’s ‘circus’ of life … if we are to really embrace the power of relationships, affinity and trust let’s leave the right messages out there. Better still, let’s ensure our closest allies see our true colours and have every chance of passing the message that YOU and your story are that which is best remembered, most easily referred.

Now, I understand

I know what he’s thinking, I understand now.

How often have you thought to yourself … I know, just by looking into their eyes, what he or she is thinking, by simply observing body language.

Have you ever said to yourself:

 ‘I wish I had the words?’

Only to find out that none were required, a simple action was enough. Whether that’s a nod or a shake of the head, we understand on an intimate level at times where words are simply not required.

This moment of telepathy usually occurs with those you know particularly well. It may be a partner, child or even a pet and more often than not this moment of instantaneous understanding between humans is overlooked as simply ‘co-incidence.’

Wouldn’t it be fabulous if world leaders could communicate, engage and mutually understand through telepathy? If people had the time and ability to express how they truly felt if the population could send messages straight to the top without the diatribe and red tape that confines the clarity of sanity…

Fleeting moments of profound communication are wonderful for the soul and are just as essential for the business to understand don’t you think?

So, Ben had been having troubles with his presentations. Or he thought he was having trouble … he felt the message just wasn’t coming out of his mouth.

‘So much to say and unable to say it.’

Take your time to deliver Ben, be specific when offering the message, presentation jitters come to all of us at some point and although we have not yet mastered the telepathic message as some have with text or email, once people understand that you are comfortable and wholly committed to your cause, your message will soon become clear.

It is then we find that people do business with who they understand, those they know, like and trust … almost telepathically.

Assume, you could be right

A quarter of the year almost gone and micro-business Dave was asking me what he had to do to gain more clients.

Here’s a starter check-list for you Dave …

Have you approached prospects with your offer?

‘Offer?’ Came the reply.

‘I’ve a website Charlie and I’ve made sure I’ve covered my social media outlets if that’s what you mean by offer?’

Dave, you cannot assume that all of your new business is coming to you via a virtual presence alone. You need to first of all know the target audience and whether there is a need for your particular services.

‘Yes, I know that already.’ I heard

You also need to know who the budget holder is …

‘Well I’d find out if I had the opportunity!’

‘Look, it seems like a lot of hard work Charlie, I’ve put a lot of time and invested a lot of capital into creating the online presence.’

‘I’m thinking of a letterbox drop for leaflets next …’

Dave, the assumption that new business is making it’s way to your door simply because you now have a ‘singing and dancing’ website is fanciful to say the least … letterbox drop?

‘Yes, I’m printing a couple of thousand and delivering them myself.’

Steady Dave, great effort and it does bring the reward. Take the next step though and introduce the world to you, the person.

Meet the people. Then use your new-found leverage. Engage those in business who take the time to know you, who then view the website before being inspired with the confidence and trust to arrange a meeting with you and your next best client.

That’s why they call it a network Dave, you need to work the net to gain the business.

You with me Dave?

I assume Dave was listening …

It’s just not for you!

I pulled up a chair …

George had suggested that networking just wasn’t his style, he was adverse to ‘breaking the ice’ with those he hadn’t met before and being ‘nice’ just because … and the whole ‘first-date’ scenario left him less than warm …

Getting out of the comfort zone is just not for me Charlie, I’m comfortable here with comfortable.”

‘I’m not entirely sure face to face networking is relevant. Besides, all the new business is on-line now anyway. I can strike up a conversation with anyone I so desire, I connect and like and in turn get liked by all kinds of people with the same interests I have without even meeting them!’

I asked George if he’d like to grow his customer list, if he was still in the market for more business?

Charlie, we have a whole bunch of customers and when they’re busy the company is busy so no, I’m not really looking to grow my database. The networking breakfast sounds fantastic though!”

George had a well established company providing an on-line service and had been growing ‘organically’ over the years – all by ‘word of mouth.’

‘So, are you happy where you are with the business George?’ I asked.

Sure Charlie. It gets a little isolated now and again from where I sit now but in the main I’m content.’

I like George, he’d been around about as long as I had, worked on the business with the right people, understood the referral business enough to know the value of the right connection but now he was ‘comfortable, being comfortable.’

I can see why you inhabit the network though Charlie,” said George …

I know you value the input from others, hearing about their business, the advice and mutual support and direction. Not to mention the diversity and mentor opportunity – and yeah, that breakfast does sound good; but hey, does that really drive you to get out of bed at that time of day?”

‘It’s not the breakfast George, I’m just naturally nosey …’

I couldn’t bring myself to remind George of the ‘organic business by referral growth’ his own business had enjoyed and thrived on over the years. Sure, structured networking relies on your input and what you bring to the room. Networking is about desire, the attitude and your understanding of the value people bring to the business.

George, despite his delight at the thought of a fine network breakfast, had simply lost his appetite.

Like George, if you are comfortable with the bottom line then that’s one reason networking may not be for you but for a whole host of reasons regular face to face networking really is still relevant as we understand why ‘people buy from people.’