How Dalai Lama Defines A Successful Person…

  1. The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred.
  2. An open heart is an open mind.
  3. The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation.
  4. The goal is not to be better than the other man, but your previous self.
  5. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
  6. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
  7. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
  8. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.

The Freedom Of Discipline…

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffective concerning all acts of initiative and creation. There is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now. – Goethe

Connect Emotionally With Your Prospective Clients…

Inspired from an article by Rain Today.

It’s important in all business situations to help people feel seen, valued, and understood.

Here are four areas to focus on to help your prospective clients feel good about buying from you:

  1. Connect – You want your prospective clients to know that you are on their side trying to help them. Be genuine and curious about them. Ask questions about their business needs and be interested in them personally. Build rapport and trust.
  2. Collaborate – Invest your time and attention into getting something done with and for them. Prospective clients want service providers to collaborate with them. They appreciate being involved and will buy from you over your competition if you engage them in the process.
  3. Respect – You want buyers to know they are important. Respect their role and any level of seniority, education, and expertise.
  4. Value – Prospective clients want to contribute to the buying process in a valuable way.

This is an illustration that Rain Today recently posted:

You have an incredible opportunity to help your prospective clients feel good throughout the buying process with you. Stay present and focus on connecting, collaborating, respecting, and valuing them as professionals and as individuals. Go Grow!

Are You Ripping Or Weaving The Fabric…

Inspired by reading David Brooks: “The Second Mountain”

If you are ripping the fabric, your business development efforts will not be effective. If you are weaving the fabric, you’ve got a better chance. So what the heck is this fabric? It is the people, organizations, beliefs that knit us together. Within our teams, individual organizations, industries, etc., we are granted the opportunity to be weavers instead of rippers. The fabric is not woven by leaders from above. It is woven at every level, through a million caring actions, from one person to another. It is woven by people fulfilling their roles as good teammates, colleagues, and partners.

When I treat another person as if he were an object, I’ve ripped the fabric. When I treat other person as an infinite soul, I have woven the fabric. When I lie, abuse, stereotype, or traumatize a person, I have ripped the fabric. When I see someone truly, and make them feel seen, understood, and known, I have woven the fabric. When I accuse someone of something without evidence, I have ripped the fabric. When I disagree without maligning motives, I have woven it. The fabric is created through an infinity of small moral acts, and it can be destroyed by a series of immoral ones.

Relationships do not scale. They have to be built one at a time, through patience and forbearance. But norms do scale. When we take the time to create caring relationships, and do so repeatedly in ways that get communicated to others, then norms are established. I ask you: what are you doing in your own personal and professional lives, within your team, within your organization, within your communities, to weave rather than rip our fabric? What are we building, moment by moment, choice by choice – to get to where we want to go: individually, as a team, as an organization, and an industry, and as a society?

90% Of Our Understanding Comes From Our Eyes…

and it’s important to set time to meet in-person to make business and relationship development efforts more effective. You may find you are able to get more accomplished by meeting in person, rather than exchanging emails or instant messages – where, more often than not, the real meaning is lost. There’s a significant chance of miscommunication occurring when relying on e-mail and/or instant message instead of meeting in-person. Consider the following statement: Amy thinks Mike will succeed.  Depending on which word is emphasized, the meaning changes completely:

  • Amy thinks Mike will succeed. (It’s Amy who thinks this.)
  • Amy thinks Mike will succeed. (Amy’s not entirely certain.)
  • Amy thinks Mike will succeed. (It’s Mike, and no one else.)
  • Amy thinks Mike will succeed. (Mike is not succeeding now, but it will happen.)
  • Amy thinks Mike will succeed. (As opposed to fail.)

There would be no question about meaning if this was an in-person conversation, because the person’s inflection would clarify.

Beyond the fundamental value of crystal clear communication, meeting with people in-person provides that additional (90%) understanding through seeing another person’s perspective. In seeing, we gain greater understanding. With this greater understanding, we have the opportunity to develop a deeper, more authentic relationship.

Asking For Referrals…

Inspired by an article by Mary Flaherty – Rain Group

In B2B business development, good referrals propel your prospective clients into new clients. It may feel awkward or uncomfortable when you first start asking for referrals. However, the more you practice your approach, the easier it gets. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

Be referable. To use referrals as a tactic, you need to actually be referable. Be remarkable, trustworthy, genuine, and forthright. Deliver what you promise, when you promise. The people who will be referring you need to be able to speak about the value you provide.

Be clear and build a referral network. It’s important for you to know exactly who your prospective clients are and who within your network can help you get referrals to those prospects.

Ask for referrals. You get referrals if you ask for them.

Build confidence. It’s risky to refer someone. Let your referral network know about your business successes and the problems you’ve helped solve to build confidence.

Be consistent. As with any tactic, ask for and give referrals consistently.

Thank your referral partners. Express your appreciation for getting a referral.

Create other ways to recommend you. There are people who cannot or will not refer you, but they may be happy to give you a testimonial or participate in a case study.

Give a referral. It’s one of the best ways to get one in return.

 Go Grow!






Myth – Cold Calling Is Dead…

Inspired from Rain Today

Buyers Preference vs Sellers Actual Method of Outreach

Blogs and articles pressing on the idea that “COLD CALLING IS DEAD” get a lot of readers. Many sellers don’t want to cold call, so they want this to be true. It’s not. The phone is essential for prospecting, especially when you are selling to C-level and VP buyers. I know this personally because I’ve built my consulting firm around using cold calling as a tactic for the clients I work with. It’s one of the best tactics, especially if you are working from a highly targeted list matched to your positioning.

According to buyers in the research performed by RainToday, 70% of sellers connect with them and generate meetings using the phone. This is second only to email.

Sellers who prospect agree the phone is essential, including cold calls.

According to sellers, of the 15 most effective outreach methods we studied, using the phone represents three of the top five statistics, including making phone calls to existing clients, past clients, and new contacts.

Both buyers and sellers agree: cold calling works and it’s still one of the most effective ways to generate initial sales conversations.

 






Recognizing Listening As A Necessary Skill To Establish And Grow Business Relationships…

Inspired by a post from Stacey Hanke, Founder of Stacey Hanke Inc. and Author of Influence Redefined

Most people consider themselves to be good listeners, finding it hard to admit otherwise. We know listening is vital to building strong relationships with coworkers, managers, clients, and leadership. In fact, it is considered to be the single most important communication skill necessary, valued more highly than speaking, in the business world.

We spend between 70 to 80% of each day engaged in communication, with over half that time devoted to listening, and yet we struggle to do it effectively. Because we hear speech at a rate of 500-1,000 words per minute, and only speak 125-175 words per minute, we become easily bored, distracted and inattentive.

By recognizing listening as a skill necessary to establish and grow business relationships, we can begin prioritizing our need to do it well. Here are eight ways to immediately stop talking and start listening:

1. “My turn, my turn!”

Admit it, when others start speaking you immediately begin thinking of what to say next. Speaking may be considered relatively easy by most, many fail to effectively listen. Stop competing for your turn to talk and simply listen. Deliberately concentrate your focus on the speaker, keeping natural eye contact, and tune into their facial expressions and body language. Clear your mind and focus on the message until they have completed their thoughts.

2. “Wait, let me get that.”

Few things are as inconsiderate or hard to ignore like the distraction of a device; yet, many of us are guilty of giving in to its demand for our attention. Even when we try, it is next to impossible to concentrate on someone speaking when the phone sitting next to us is buzzing with text messages, alerts, emails, and phone calls. If you’re in a conversation, silence your device. Give your respect to those speaking by removing any distractions that may compete with their message.

3. “I see. Go on.”

Active listening is more than just hearing what someone says, it’s about the desire to understand what someone is trying to convey. Mindtools — a career skills development group – reported that people only remember between 25-50% of what is heard, meaning we pay attention to less than half of what someone says. By using words of encouragement such as “I see” and “Go on,” we can boost our ability to retain conversational details. This style of interaction also promotes the conversation often revealing more details than the speaker originally considered sharing.

4. Silence is golden.

It’s important to get comfortable with silence in your conversations. Many of us are uncomfortable with quiet pauses and rush to fill the dead space. Instead, allow the silence to permeate the moment and give time for the speaker to transition between topics. Pausing between the end of their thought and the beginning of yours allows time for you to formulate a clear and concise response.

5. “What I understand you to say is … ”

Imagine the number of times we could prevent miscommunication if we took a moment to paraphrase what we thought of the speaker to say. Paraphrasing helps create an opportunity for clarification if the speaker feels they were misunderstood. It provides them another chance to communicate their thoughts and ensure everyone is on the same page.

6. “How long has this been occurring?”

Open-ended questions have power. They have the power to explore the conversation and shed light on facts that are missing. Consider how much more information you can learn if you were to ask a venting coworker “How long as this been going on,” versus “Has this been going on long?” A simple yes or no response doesn’t provide the speaker an opportunity to elaborate, but the open-ended question invites them to continue in detail.

7. “What are you saying without saying?”

While many of our conversations may be casual, some of them serve a purpose not so easily heard. Listening for the intent of someone speaking can help reveal the reason they are sharing with you in the first place. By listening intently, you can witness whether their body language, gestures, and facial expressions match their message. If not, listen for their intent. Read between the lines and identify what they are saying without saying.

8. “Just checking in on you.”

Empathy is powerful. Just because a conversation has ended doesn’t mean the situation has. If you want to build a trusting relationship with your coworkers, work on your ability to demonstrate empathy. Empathy expresses compassion and understanding for the conversation shared. Whether you are empathetic throughout the conversation or after, bringing this level of engagement to the conversation will further your relationship and create a degree of mutual respect. 

By mindfully listening to coworkers and colleagues, you will begin establishing relationships built on trust and respect. The credibility you earn as your peers’ listener will help you become their partner in success.






Leave A Strong First Impression…

Research shows most people decide whether or not they like you, and whether or not they will do business with you, within the first few seconds (yes seconds!) of meeting you. They then spend the rest of the conversation internally justifying their initial reaction. This may sound terrifying, but by knowing this you can take advantage of it to make huge gains in your likeability. First impressions are tied intimately to positive body language. Ensure that your first impression is a good one by paying attention to the following:

Maintain a strong and straight, yet flexible posture. You are a human, not a statue.

Offer a firm and gracious handshake.

Smile and maintain good eye contact.

Open your shoulders to the person you are sharing a conversation with.

Listen 2x more than you talk – be curious about them and their world.

Go Grow!

 






Cultivate Personal Relationships To Develop New Business…

We all despise “networking” – right?! The impersonal, sales-focused meetups. The forced small talk at conferences and trade shows. It’s all terrible. And for one simple reason: People are selfish. Networking fails when you focus only on yourself. Why would you ever want to spend time in a room full of people only looking out for their own interests?

However, you don’t hate spending time with friends or socializing. You want to spend time listening to them, because you know they’ll listen to you afterwards. There’s meaning and depth and understanding and connection within personal friendships.

So, what if you could make all your business relationships “personal”?

Rather than asking “who can help me?” ask “whose business circumstances and outcomes can I advance?” Reframe your “business development” efforts to “cultivating personal relationships”. It’s powerful. Because by virtue of reciprocity, those people will then form a deeper connection with you and will want to advance your outcomes.






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