It’s Better to Give Than to Receive

August 19, 2008 at 5:01 pm | Posted in Networking, sales, Sales Training, small business | 2 Comments
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Who wasn’t told as a child that it’s better to give than to receive? At the time, we might of thought that this only referred to birthday and holiday gifts, but this old adage is just as applicable now that we’re adults, especially when it comes to business networking.

 

If you have been to a networking event, you have probably met individuals who only want to talk about themselves. They have unfortunately mastered the “it’s all about me” mode of communication.” They’ll corner you to tell you about what they do and what type of leads they are seeking, never asking you anything about yourself. Meanwhile, your mind drifts elsewhere as you try to plan your escape from their clutches. These same people will also be the first ones to email or call you, not to ask how they can be of assistance to you, but rather to obtain contacts or introductions to others. Are they kidding?

 

What these “takers” have forgotten is that networking is a two-way street. It’s not about selfishly achieving the goal of finding that “direct fit” with the product or service that you provide. Rather, networking is the selfless art of facilitating introductions to help others.

 

Yes, networking is all about giving, and not always about receiving. But, there is a lot to be gained in the process of networking. By helping others connect, you contribute to a world of concentric circles that can spawn many new connections. And, you might just be surprised how your generosity turns into successful leads for yourself. Think of this process as “networking karma.”

 

For those who continue to wear “networking blinders,” only thinking of how others can help them, they are missing out on many, many opportunities beyond their immediate sphere of influence.  So, at your next networking event, keep in mind what you learned long ago about giving and receiving as you meet others, and watch how your connections grow.

 

Today I Was a Customer

August 15, 2008 at 1:04 pm | Posted in Customer Service, small business | 1 Comment

Today I was a customer. Come to think of it, I was a customer yesterday as well and for certain, I will be one tomorrow. In fact, most of us are customers every day. We buy goods and services, food to eat, clothes to wear, music to listen to. Oftentimes, our customer experiences are unpleasant and stressful and we emphatically decide to not do business with that particular company or store again.

 

As business owners we must ensure that our customers never decide to not do business with us simply because we did not provide them with the level of customer service that they want and expect. How to keep that from happening? It’s pretty simple:

 

1.  Cherish the customer (for they are the reason you are in business!)

2. Make certain that EVERYONE in your organization understands that they are “in” customer service, regardless of how much customer interaction they have.

3. Listen to your customers and learn from them.

4. Make it easy for your customers to do business with your company. Make your processes and procedures customer-focused.

5. Embrace the idea that the key differentiator in this cluttered business world in which we live is the quality of customer service that you provide.

 

Told you it was pretty simple.  Still, I bet that in the next day or two one or more of  your own customer experiences will fall short which tells me that it isn’t all that simple to provide this type of excellence on a consistent basis.

 

Do a gut check….are you providing the kind of customer experience that you would want to have?

Dare to Be…Different

August 7, 2008 at 7:51 am | Posted in sales, Sales Training, small business | Leave a comment

Maybe Seth Godin explained it best (or was it first?:) ) in Purple Cow, but the plain truth is if you can’t show your prospects and clients what makes you different from your competition and then lead them to see how this difference equates to an improvement in their situation (business or personal), you won’t earn their business. Why should anyone make a change if they don’t see an improvement. After all, the devil I know is the better than the devil I don’t….most adults HATE change and without the (hated) change equating to a powerful benefit, the change will not happen.

How can you be different (i.e. better?) How can you stand out in a sea of sameness?

Dare to be Different

Dare to be Different

Challenging Times…Get Past it

August 2, 2008 at 7:02 pm | Posted in Networking, sales, Sales Training, small business | 1 Comment

The news is full of gloom and doom. We’re in a recession, heading into a recession, this company closed, that company is downsizing, we have to buy water on our airplanes, foreclosures are up….the beat goes on. What can you do for your own business to rise above these obstacles being thrown in your way.

Stop using the economy as your excuse to not:

     Work harder and smarter in developing new prospects

     Mine the gold in your current account base

     Expand your competencies with additional training, coaching or classes

     Expect the best

     Aggressively go after what you want

 

This IS the time to grow, learn, exceed expectations and WIN. Being a bystander is not going to help. Go out and do something to make your business and your life better.

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