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In one of my recent Continuing Education classes I had a Realtor tell me that they had never been in a class where the instructor actually told them NOT to sell. It was such a completely unheard of concept that she just had to remark on what a turnaround it was for her. To hear that she didn’t have to sell took a ton of pressure off of her shoulders. What a relief to know that selling someone wasn’t the goal!
Consider this: when you go networking, do you go because you want to buy something? Do you wake up that morning and think, “I’ve got to spend some money today”? Probably not!
When you are bombarded by someone trying to sell you something, how does it make you feel? Personally, I want to escape! I hate it when someone tricks me or corners me with their sales pitch. If they do this to me once, they’re unlikely to be afforded a second opportunity to talk to me because I will take epic measures to avoid them in the future.
If you are in the mood to shop what do you do? You hop on the Internet or head to the nearest store that sells what you are looking for. The one thing you don’t do is show up at a networking meeting hoping somebody will sell something to you.
We don’t go networking looking to buy so why would anybody show up trying to sell?
This has always baffled me! Wherever you go you will do better to just show up and start a few conversations and leave the “Sales Hat” at the office. Simply talk to people! It doesn’t even have to be about business!
If selling isn’t the goal, then what is? The goal is to start more conversations. See whom you connect with and keep the conversation going with those people by staying in touch. If you form a genuine, authentic relationship then you can talk business. They may not even be your customers but if the connection is real, they will talk about you and bring others to you. They will be your advocates!
Now that I’ve helped take away the pressure of making sales, it’ll be much easier to just go start those conversations!
I was watching my grandson the other day and started thinking about the process of learning to walk. It’s such a great analogy for life. Yes, we must learn to crawl first but even more importantly, we need people in our lives that encourage us to pull up. If we never pull ourselves up, we won’t ever see the possibilities that lie just above our current line of sight.
My grandson just turned one year old and is doing the typical things that babies that age do. He is learning to walk. Of course he started out by scooting across the floor army-style, which then turned into a more traditional crawl on all fours. We have celebrated each small development from sitting up to pulling up. As a grandparent, I believe I have been even more excited about his progress than I was with my own children.
First, he has to have the freedom to crawl around and test out pulling up in order to eventually walk and then run. As parents and grandparents it’s a little scary to let them go. Our instincts are to keep them safe but we mustn’t limit them or they won’t grow and develop into all they are meant to be. Yes, they may fall and get a few bumps and bruises before they perfect their skill but we are here to reassure them, soothe them when they are hurt, and encourage them to keep trying. If we held them down to keep them safe they would become like a sad caged animal. Their spirit would wither.
As adults, we need the people in our lives to allow us the freedom to pull up. If those around us are more comfortable with us staying down, then we are less likely to test out or try something different. We must surround ourselves with people who encourage us to leap and grow. It’s essential to our progress that our loved ones cheer us on, support our growth and even pull us up if we fall. We must choose to spend our time with people who will truly celebrate our achievements and will lovingly give us a boost when we need it. I urge you to take a look at whom you spend your time with and consider whether or not they are pulling you up or holding you down.
If you are hesitating to take a leap of faith, go out on a limb, try that new system, accept that promotion or just put yourself out there even though there is a potential to fail, look around at your inner circle and consider the feedback you get from them. Are they telling you to go for it or cautioning you about taking chances? Surround yourself with those who will encourage you to pull up!
“I apologize, I was frustrated.”
The sentence above was an email I recently received from a former business associate.
First Lesson: A sincere apology is never followed by an excuse.
Second Lesson: Whether in our personal life or in business, sometimes things don’t go as planned or things may happen that get us rattled and upset. How you conduct yourself in these moments tells others a great deal about you as a person.
Third Lesson: Always assume you are on speakerphone and other people are privy to your conversation. This assumption may actually inhibit you from saying something you’ll regret.
Many times the root of relationship trouble is communication. If we aren’t good communicators, you can bet there will be trouble that will stem from this behavior. People tend to jump to inacurate conclusions because of poor communication and business dealings go downhill quickly. When there is good communication, there is little conflict.
If someone resorts to name calling when business dealings face challenges, it tells me about their character. Not only is it disrespectful, it’s extremely unprofessional.
How we conduct ourselves in our personal life spills over into our business relationships and vice versa. What you do is much louder than what you say. If you are the kind of person that has to walk around loudly proclaiming that you are a Christian, it makes me wonder why you are trying so hard to convince me. It’s much better for me to experience you being a Christian. When you are disrespectful toward me, it makes me wonder how you treat your family.
Sometimes we hang on because we want to help people. Pay close attention to the warning signs of disrespect and trust your instincts. It won’t get better. If you are dealing with someone that just isn’t working out because of some of these issues, you need to let them go and move on. The stress you are experiencing trying to make the relationship work isn’t worth it. Make the choice to remove the frustration from your life. If they’ve stooped low enough to call you names, it shows they have no respect for you. Let them go and be somebody else’s problem. When you do, you’ll feel a huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders!
When we listen and watch someone speak, we look for clues as to weather or not we believe or even like the speaker. A study done by Albert Mehrabian concluded that 7% percent of what we perceive comes from the actual words used, 38% comes from the vocal tone, and 55% comes from body language. It’s only when we communicate in the written form that the actual words play a crucial role in our message. Without hearing tone and visual clues, it’s much easier to misunderstand the words and meaning.
I recently went to a networking meeting and met several new people. There were 2 individuals whom I met that I instantly didn’t like. After giving some thought as to why I had come to such a quick conclusion about them, I realized it was their body language during our handshake. Even a simple introduction and handshake can tell a person a great deal about what you think of them. Yes, that quick, a decision was made that I don’t like or trust either of these individuals!
The first individual was a man who had entered the room and greeted several people and then sat down at a table. It was still during the meet and greet portion of the meeting so I walked around to the side of the table to meet him and said, “I haven’t gotten to meet you yet, my name is Kathryn”, and I extended my hand. He looked at me, (no smile), and extended his hand without standing up. He said his name and that was about it. I was totally uninterested at that point and just wanted to move on. Always stand up when you are shaking a persons hand. Standing conveys power, confidence and respect for the other person. I did find it interesting that at the end of the meeting he brought me his card and didn’t ask for mine.
The second individual was also a man. This happened at the end of the meeting where people were mingling. This man had come in a bit late so I didn’t get an opportunity to meet him before the meeting started. My boyfriend was talking to him and as I approached, he asked if we had met each other and we both said no so he introduced us. I extended my hand and as he reached for mine he started to gaze around the room and not make eye contact with me. This behavior is recognized as nervous or dismissive. I actually held onto his hand until he decided to look back at me. Of course some words were said along the lines of, “Nice to meet you”. It was a very uncomfortable greeting and not one that made me want to talk to him again in the future. We didn’t exchange cards.
In a split second opinions are formed, based on your body language, that can prevent you from ever moving forward in a relationship so be aware of the signals you are sending and pay attention to signals that people around you are giving you. You may realize that someone is just not your person and that’s okay. Don’t waste time with people that you don’t connect with on a basic level. A business relationship isn’t going to be pleasant or rewarding if you try to force it.
For a short body language demo, check out my recent video.