This is a difficult concept. But, focusing on the results only serves as a distraction for us all. The result of the work doesn’t really belong to us – but the quality of attention that we pay during the process of executing our work does belong to us. No matter your job, your title, your tasks: let go of the results in everything you do. Yes, of course, allow the end result to serve as a goal, but refocus your attention on the quality of the tasks leading you to the end goal and place greater emphasis on the process. When we…
- focus on the present moment
- do our best in everything we do
- we will always be happy, and
- the results will take care of themselves
I’ve noticed when I can focus on the present moment and put quality effort into my daily tasks, I often surpass the goal I had originally set. When I focus on the goal or results, I tend to become anxious and “me focused” rather than “client-focused”.
Letting go of the results is one of the hardest principles we can put into practice because we are trained to focus on the results. In business, it is about the numbers, the growth, and the final sale. In business development, we get consumed by landing that next big corporate account and we forget to stay in the present moment. But, when we stay present, put focused clear attention into the process of execution, our prospective clients actually enjoy us as salespeople. When we are focused on the present and our clients’ immediate needs, and stop worrying so much on the end result or potential future results, we provide real solutions to our clients.
Posted by AmyJ
One of the most significant opportunities to proactively influence business development is reciprocation. The rule of reciprocation states that people repay, equally and often more, what another person has provided them. By virtue, we are obligated to the future repayment of favors, gifts, invitations, and professional and business opportunities. There is no human society that does not subscribe to the rule. There is global understanding of reciprocation.
Find ways to be helpful in business situations, especially to prospective client organizations. Simple acts of giving – emailing relevant and interesting information, sponsoring an event, or volunteering within a professional organization – set you up for receiving. Studies indicate people who give first are more than twice as successful as those who don’t.
- The rule is overpowering: Consider free samples at the grocery store. As a marketing tactic, free samples work. While it is a gift, it is also setting the product up for reciprocity – many people find it difficult to accept a sample without buying the product. Where in your business can you give a sample?
- The rule enforces uninvited debts: You can trigger a feeling of indebtedness by performing an uninvited favor. I would caution that you don’t overuse this, however – people may start to question your intent and trustworthiness.
- The rule can trigger unfair exchanges: A small initial favor can produce a substantially larger return favor. This works well for business developers – because it illustrates you don’t need to give big/equal – but rather give purposefully/meaningfully.
Give as much as you can, take only what you need. Go Grow!
(this blog post was inspired from reading The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini)
Posted by AmyJ
“You’ve got to have trust. You’ve got to have a team – a leadership team that you as the leader of the organization – can trust – and they have to be able to trust you – and they have to trust each other. When you’ve got trust, it means you can have difficult conversations, you can be honest with each other and I would call that internal cohesion; for me that is the first requirement [in building a high performance organization]. But the second requirement, which to me is just as important, is to focus on the culture of the organization. Your culture will define your success. Cultural capitalism is the new frontier of competitive advantage. When you’ve got people who can work together, in an open and authentic way, with integrity and trust, you will find you will be able to create a high-performance organization.” – Barrett Values Center’s Richard Barrett
Your organizational culture also helps to differentiate you in your market-place. Spend time looking from the “outside in” to see how your team operates and how you are being perceived in the eyes of your clients. Then emphasize the positives and course-correct the negatives as you market and develop new business opportunities for your company.
Posted by AmyJ
Written with inspiration from author Susan Scott
Many people make little contact during a conversation. Not even eye contact. It significantly diminishes conversations when you withhold yourself – eye contact and listening especially. If you are not looking at people when you’re talking with them, they may feel they’re invisible to you. Devalued. I don’t imagine that is what anyone wants when having a conversation.
I’d refrain from maniacal eye contact during your conversations. We’ve all be in situations when we want to back away from an avid individual whose eyes seemed to drill through us and out the other side. What I do recommend is “soft eyes.”
Instead of focusing on any one thing, soften your eyes and allow the world to come to you, and then you will see (understand/comprehend) so much more.
You will catch subtleties. Peripheral vision becomes more acute.
The same thing happens with our listening.
We may succeed in hearing every word yet miss the message altogether.
Hearing people’s words is only the beginning. There is so much more to listen to than words. Listen to the whole person by considering content, emotions, and intent.
In conversations, soft eyes and soft ears allow a person to come to you, to communicate to you. It is not about being clever or having degrees in a particular field. It’s about being genuinely interested, really asking, and paying fierce attention to the whole person. Go Grow!
Posted by AmyJ
When hiring a new professional service provider, there are distinct phases a potential client moves through. Each phase has its own unique set of feelings and thoughts. Many professional service providers think selling their services entails showing up with Statement of Qualifications or a portfolio of their past work, and presenting other clients’ projects. When shortlisted for a project, you might show up at interviews, by again, showcasing your past successes with other clients. Unfortunately, both of these examples only demonstrate that there’s a lack of understanding of what is going on in our clients’ minds. By all means, your prospective client wants to learn about your past experience and successes. They want to understand your process and they want to meet your team. But, they want to see how it all relates to them, their organization, and their project at hand – how you can help them. Even in initial conversations and meetings, relate your experience to them. As you move into further phases of the selling process, build the conversation in a way that is more investigative and about them – and less about you and your past successes.
Ask good questions and have a conversation rather than a presentation. A few…
- Tell me about your department.
- How are you structured?
- How many employees, their roles?
- Who have you used externally?
- Who are you working with right now, and how is that working for you?
- What do you appreciate the most from your (insert your service here)?
- Who do you report to? How is that relationship?
- How is your department perceived in your organization?
- Are you working from a budget and plan?
- How are you currently implementing?
- What are you working on currently and what is coming up?
- Tell me about your organization, your culture, your leadership.
- Etc. etc. etc.
As you get deeper into the selling process, your questions will become more focused, more specific to the client and their issues and project at hand. Go grow!
Posted by AmyJ