I’ve just come back from a fantastic conference in the US with 300 proactive personal development specialists, who were all keen to help grow each other’s businesses.
It was energizing and inspiring to meet so many positive and enlightened souls who are out there doing such good work in the world. But it was also very apparent that attendees fell into two distinct categories – those who were enjoying great lifestyles because of their business success and those still running expensive hobbies.
One of the most common blocks many heart-centered business owners face is not knowing how to ‘sell’ in a way that feels good and gets clients. Does this ring true for you?
Are you someone who finds all sorts of things to do rather than pick up the phone, follow up leads or invite people to buy your services?
Yet a basic principle of business success is selling enough of your products/services to generate the cash and lifestyle you’d love. But how do you do this if you hate the idea of ‘selling’ and this is holding you back?
One of the things I love about being in business is that it’s a great opportunity to express the true essence of who you are – if you know who that is and have the courage to do it!
I recently had a conversation with someone who’d been advised to ‘tone down’ what they were wearing so they came across as being more ‘professional’ – despite this person being extremely talented in their field, having a huge heart and lots of charisma. They were almost swayed to conform until they realised that most of their customers and followers love that are different!
I wonder if like me you’ve had mixed experiences when networking?
This week having just returned from 3 weeks holiday, I’ve been doing quite a bit of networking (on-line and face-to-face) and I’ve had a great time – at least most of the time!
I’ve met some fantastic like-minded people who I felt energised around and look forward to getting to know better. There were others who seemed nice enough but something was ‘missing’ in our conversations. And a few lost souls who I’ll be quite happy to send lots of love, kindness and compassion to, but with whom I really don’t have any desire to connect with again. Most of the events I’ve attended have been fantastic however one drained my energy so much I couldn’t wait to leave.
If any of that sounds familiar, here are some tips to help you choose the best places to ‘hang out’ – so you make best use of your time and money!
I often meet people at networking events and through on-line forums who appear to have a very ‘detached’ and self serving interpretation of what networking is.
Those who turn up randomly to events and hand out their business cards with the hope (and expectation) that this approach will get them lots of business. The equivalent on-line is those who only post their own promotional ‘adverts’ in social media groups and who do not take the time to also connect and engage with others in the group.
And I’m really saddened that these people don’t realise that’s not what networking is about – that their actions are losing them business and they could also be missing out on a lot of great opportunities.
A more heart-centered approach is to ‘give’ to others 80% of the time and to only promote yourself 20% of the time. In other words to listen, connect, share, introduce, help, support and give (time, knowledge or otherwise) most of the time. To be really present in the moment with those you’re ‘talking’ with; to be finding out if there is anything you could help them with; and to be exploring whether this could be or nurturing a mutually beneficial long-term relationship (as per the 7th & 8th Principles of Heart-Centered Leadership).
Personally I’m really gratefully to now be surrounded by a fantastic group of like-minded friends and business associates I’ve met through doing this. And it’s great to see how this inter-connected group people connect, collaborate, support, help and promote each others’ businesses – naturally. It’s one of the things that can make networking so enjoyable.
How much time do you spend connecting with others versus promoting yourself when networking?
I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts – please do share your comments below.
Alisoun Mackenzie is The Compassionate Business Mentor, Author, and Speaker who inspires business owners and social entrepreneurs to turn their passions into profits and make a difference in the world.
I don’t know about you, but for me there have been times when I’ve felt under pressure to become more social media savvy.
And despite initially being a reluctant user, I’ve really enjoyed keeping in touch with friends and reconnecting with people who I enjoy spending time with. Those who I’d love to see more of but don’t because our lives have a different many priorities just now. And it’s great hear of so many wonderful resources, events and opportunities through my ‘connections’.