Comfortable vs remarkable

‘Hey Charlie, I think I’m getting comfortable with this networking ‘thing’ now. I do understand when you say that it’s all about spending time, being familiar with the expectation, you’re right, it takes a while.’

Good things take time Ben …

the key is to stay the course and following through.

‘Well, I’m managing the routine now, gradually booking the appointments and I’m learning, so feeling happier.’

I can tell that Ben, just by you opening up and discussing the situation tends to show you are growing in confidence, understanding the process.

‘The process?’

The referral process. This is your ‘realisation,’ Ben, others are beginning to appreciate you as they see you grow, they come to understand your character, ask your advice and how you work. Just as you do with others.

Just now is the start of the process.

Continue with the visibility, book the meetings, the one to one and understand your marketplace. Learn from others and keep the antenna flying for possible introductions for others. The more you help, the better your ‘bizability.’

‘But I’m just getting comfortable Charlie, I’m happy where I am now.’

Where you are is great Ben. Not too comfortable now though because ‘comfortable’ brings stagnation and this is something that should never happen within your network.

Stay the course Ben, follow through, continue your path. If you are happy then the ‘process’ is working.

Next step is to begin to lose the comfort zone Ben… go the extra mile and actively pursue business on behalf of others – don’t just wait for it to happen, be the referral process you would like to see happening for you.

Nothing remarkable ever comes from being comfortable …

The resource for referral

It’s been a BIG year for Clarice, lots of new resources and the business looks now to be heading in the right direction.

‘What now?’ I asked – just as the festive mince pie hit her chops …

Once composure was regained Clarice informed me exactly of what I already knew.

‘More of the same Charlie, please.’I don’t know where I’d be without the resources I’ve discovered since becoming a regular attendee of the Weeklybiz network.’

Not everyone shares the vision of Clarice. Indeed many choose to overlook the structure that creates the opportunity when knocking on the door of business. The lure of an easy ‘fix’ is too strong for some, those with deadlines for success, targets to meet and so the real value of resource available in ‘the room’ is simply not given the time to flourish.

Not so for my companion.

‘The resources in place then Clarice?’

‘In place and I can see the path to my goals Charlie …’

‘Look who is on my team Charlie. We’ve a business planning specialist, marketing guru, software and I.T. ‘geek’ as well and more. The people I am in immediate contact with, developing relations and trust is phenomenal.’

Social media is just part of it and I can call upon these resources within Weeklybiz, money people, recruitment, law and human resources as well. Not to mention events, training and coaching.

‘We’re lucky I guess Clarice?’

‘It’s a gift, a great opportunity Charlie, I knew that when I first arrived and I cannot understand those who dismiss Weeklybiz networking as simply a hunting ground. I have now learned to covet and protect my position within the group as I work to cultivate the key relationships that take my business to new levels.’

‘Merry Christmas Clarice … another mince pie?’

Time tells …

It was one of those clear, crisp Autumn mornings … so wife, father-in-law (George) and I took some time to walk down through the gardens to the church yard. We crossed the old ‘falling-down’ bridge and up, through the gates leading to our destination.

We were here just last month. George had wanted to show us the grave of his own grandmother, laid to rest some 80 years past and a headstone still offering a surprisingly easy read to the stone inscription. George had a question regarding ‘Stephen,’ the family member mentioned and accompanying, ‘Harold’ who had been killed at the Somme …

Stephen had been unaccounted for.

George could identify with certain stories his mother passed on about Harold over time though had he not heard anything about Stephen. It was clear he wished to learn more.

So I’d asked a friend (genealogist) to spend some time and research George and his part of the family and it was just a short time later he returned with news. Stephen had been formally listed as missing in action (MIA) although our current investigation tells us now … Stephen had survived certain wounds in hospital, outlasted the war and after a time he’d been traced living in southern Europe with his adopted family!

What would ‘they’ have thought!

A bemused George led us away past a mature ‘Wingnut’ tree spanning some 18 metres and which was looking all of it’s 25 years … clearly more than a little past prime time.

These get-away too fast, they’re bonnie trees but just too keen to tak a hold and lose their way in the soft earth n the ‘clarts.’ That’ll be felled afore lang.’ stated George.

Thats canny good ower there ‘ George directed our gaze to a ‘Cypress,’ the same age as our Wingnut though not as tall at just a little over 3 metres. Straight and strong.

Added George, ‘that’n will be heor long affta that big-un is gone, these tyek thor time te establish yee knaa.’

I continued to mull-over (interpret?) George’s view, taking time to dwell over insights to the headstone, those long overlooked facts uncovered, laying hidden until now …

Aye, yee could write a book aboot tha un.’ says George wistfully.

‘Now there was an idea.’ I thought to myself … half listening and thoroughly pre-occupied with our trees. While George pondered his own questions, I observed my own relationship with colleagues throughout our regular business referral group …

George, I thought … I’d much rather understand the advantages time spent building solid foundations than the results the alternative may bring…

Routine and the glittering prize …

Living by the coast I spend much of my spare time along the shore-line. The combination of energy by the sea, oxygen in abundance, the space, solitude (apart from the dog of course,) are a great combination for inspiration.

I like to scour the shoreline for sea-washed glass. Just fragments of colour glistening amongst the sand and pebbles. The sunlight catches them and I’m always tempted to pick them up and slip them into the pocket. It’s become a routine now. You can picture it can’t you?

The dog bowls off in one direction and I’m stuttering along, picking up pieces of broken treasure in the hope of discovering the best piece yet. Blue is the favourite, then green, yellow, brown. All types of shapes and colour. imgres.jpg

Much to the dismay of Mrs Kenny (the ‘better half’) I’ve managed to now gather a really healthy collection of ‘pocket trinkets’ that only come to her attention when they somehow manage to confound the spin dryer …

A little like networking?

No, not the spin dryer! I spend a good deal of time with my network colleagues, it has become another pleasurable routine. The routine here though is keeping an eye out for the glittering prize of referral, all shapes and sizes of referral.

These come along through my understanding (like visiting the beaches) that when I’m on patch, when attending The Forum I’ve an opportunity to hear what others are looking out for. How can I help them, where might I find the prize they look for. I’m learning to keep an eye, as well as an ear open for friends I see on a regular basis.

Good referrals do not come along readily enough for some. Maybe that ‘some’ don’t frequent their patch regularly enough? It’s often the case when people errantly declare“networking doesn’t work for me.” Of course these are disappointed, perhaps because they have yet to educate others as to what it is they seek.

Make the networking routine, embrace the structure, the opportunity of picking up the not so perfect and understand that we are learning from the not so perfect, training our senses for the time we recognise and reach for the glittering prize.

Leap year – pop the question

It is well documented that our business population spends a whole lot more time online than predecessors. We know this already.

‘That’s a no-brainer! Tell us another one.’ I hear you say.

Many of us understand that the personal connection is vital, that’s why were driven to add/like/share and participate. Essentially though, the real business transactions either work or fail with the follow-up, personal engagement – when we pop the question.

So how do we initiate personal interaction, connecting with the real decision makers? What methods do we utilise to gain interest?
Are we seeking to engage others with beneficial information? Probably. Demonstration of affinity? Likely.

Engaging with the appointment in mind? Perhaps not.

How much business time is spent on line, window-shopping and wondering how to engage for a meeting? Hey, I’m not saying this is not the way to go – there is plenty of proof also that most online ‘connections’ are a result of qualified common ground, soft canvassing pre-qualification although rarely does this create substantial business entirely on it’s own … unless of course the person to person meeting materialises.

In reality though, geography and logistics combine to mean we’re unable to perform the one to one … nothing the matter with prospecting, good business takes time …

Video link is one way of gaining face-to-face engagement with your potential ‘next best customer’ and video offers the chance to deliver your message – in person – to the key person who is able to take your offer to an even greater audience.

Are you confident on live link? If the answer is no, then you shall need to practice those online presentation skills, because until we are fully adept at using direct link video messaging you won’t trust the technology, you shall not appear credible or trustworthy to the potential client and the whole exercise is lost, your confidence is gone also. Trust.

Each of us has a particular personal skill, a vastly under-utilised skill that in today’s peer-led, trust conscious, cost factored, connections-led online world is often overlooked.

Qualification and engagement are great groundwork but when looking for meaningful results we need to ‘pop the question,’ ask for the appointment.

Why not make plans next month to use your personal skills and get out more? Visit those geographically accessible prospects you’ve cultivated on line and – pop the question – make those strategic appointments and leave the office behind (unless you’ve no choice but to take it with you.)

Take some time building trust and doing some business in person, with real people. Because in today’s business world, business IS personal.

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