Tags: business, business development, communication, McDonell, Mom, networking, new business, prospecting, Sandler, training
This is a great post from my colleague, Chris McDonell with Sandler Training, on some factors that hold us back when networking. But wait…it is all Mom’s fault? Oh…not good! Read on, and thank you to Chris for the guest blog.
If you’re like most salespeople, business executives, and business owners, you don’t always know how to network effectively. For example, you may simply ’wing it’, improvise, or spend time with colleagues or clients you know really well instead of engaging prospects or potential strategic business partners.
When I ask, “Why don’t you approach prospects at networking events?” I get a lot of ‘I don’t knows.’ What you don’t know, or don’t even realize, is your problem is Mom. Specifically, the influence of the messages Mom drilled into your head during your first six years:
- Don’t talk to strangers
- Be seen and not heard
- What would you say if you did talk to them?
These messages ingrained in you at an early age are holding you back from networking effectively now as an adult.
Imagine this scenario. You’re at a networking event. Across the room you see the key decision maker at your biggest prospect sitting alone at a table, picking at a plate of appetizers. You work up the nerve to approach them, but as you make your move, Mom’s face pops up in between you and your prospect and says, “Don’t’ talk to strangers.” Obeying mom’s command, you divert your path and miss an opportunity to start building a relationship with your biggest prospect.
David Sandler based the Sandler Selling System (SM) on the same transactional analysis theory of psychology that allows Mom’s messages to hold such a sway on us. The short version of transactional analysis: we have three tape recorders inside of us:
1 . Parent – all of the messages we received from 0-6 years from our parents and other authority figures. At 6, this tape turns off and can never be erased, but it lives with us for the rest of our life.
2. Adult – turns on at 10 months, right around the time we start crawling, and runs for the rest of our life. The Adult is a computer with the potential to control Parent and Child messages.
3. Child – all of your emotional reactions to the messages recorded in your Parent from 0-6 years. Like the Parent recorder, your Child tape turns off at 6 and can never be erased and it also lives with us for the rest of our life.
Mom’s infallible wisdom is preventing you from networking effectively because her messages stored in your “Parent” tape are overriding your analytical “Adult” computer.
How would you like to learn to turn off, or at least temporarily suppress Mom’s messages and assume control of your networking and business decisions?
David Sandler has openly admitted he had a lot of messages in his Parent tape he had to overcome to network effectively. He would ask this simple question of the people he met at a networking event; “What part of the business world do you control?” A very powerful question indeed.
Imagine asking the question to the Executive Assistant to the President of your biggest prospect. They control a pretty important part of your business world! After you open with, “What part of the business world do you control?,” you’re officially over the stranger-danger hump so Mom can take a back seat for a while. But your Mom will come back. She always does.
Tags: Baltimore, business, business development, marketing, networking, new business, public relations, self-help
It has been a while since my last post, but, that’s been mostly by design. You see, there’s been a lot of observation and experience gained these past few months while my first book, “The 3-Minute Networker” enters the editing stage and the first draft of the second book, “Empowering Yourself By Empowering Others” begins to take shape. Those who not only hear, but listen and observe the people and places around them can learn a lot.
In these busy times filled with some economic challenges for both established and newly established businesses, the necessity to “network” is more important than ever. However, what people envision as networking can differ greatly, as well as when and where they choose to do so.
For me, networking is as much of part of who I am as what I do. For me, it is everywhere. Each establishment I walk into, each professional I speak to have a story. I make it a point to learn that story and attempt to establish an initial relationship with those around me. Why? Because I am passionate about helping others. Because I can. Because it only takes a few people with a vision and the discipline to stick with it to make a difference.
I think the biggest misconception with networking is that it is limited to organized events. While organized groups and breakfast, luncheon, happy hour events are awesome, networking is an ongoing process. I call it Networking on the Go. We live in a busy society. Our deadlines loom upon us. So imagine if you were the person who took two minutes of your time to ask how you could help someone else breathe a little easier in light of that daunting “To Do” list? Yeah…you’d be their hero. Now, imagine the next time someone mentions your name or your area of expertise is brought up in a conversation. Think you’ll receive a resounding testimonial? Better yet…you aren’t even there, and you’re networking.
I have said it before, and I will say it again. Networking is everywhere. I challenge each of you to make daily networking goals. Make it a point to ask two people each day who would make a good referral or lead for them, and then take a good look through your computer, smart phone, etc. and see what you can do to help. Be that hero. Make that connection. Do not give me excuses, just do it. That is, if you are serious about building your business and your personal brand.
Two people each day, ten each week…that is more than 500 people in a year! I do not know about you, but I would feel a lot of satisfaction at the end of the year in knowing that I made a difference in the lives of more than 500 people! Further, I am willing to bet I would receive at least a handful of referrals or leads along the way.
Be genuine. Be the hero. Choose to choose.
Tags: anti-gay, Arkansas, business, buzz, Clint McCance, Keith Daw, networking, Power of Personal PR, pr, public relations, relationships, spindoctor, word-of-mouth
A colleague of mine asked me, ‘Why is the PR dude, The Spindoctor, writing and talking about networking and building relationships? It’s all good stuff, but I don’t get the connection to a book called “The 3-Minute Networker”.’ That was a very good question, and at the time, I didn’t have a solid answer.
So I looked at “networking” events. What are they? I mean, break them down to their core elements, and what are we doing? We are creating a message (elevator speech) and conveying it to our intended audience (event attendees) to generate awareness, a buzz, (word-of-mouth) about our product or service. Ladies and gentleman, in its most elementary form, this is PR. So with that bridge now constructed, I introduce you to my concept, “The Power of Personal PR.”
We want to create a buzz via word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth is considered one of the most desirable forms of promotion and sometimes can be the most difficult to come by. It raises our credibility by leveraging that of a third-party; a real game changer depending upon who that third-party is. But, where does word-of-mouth start? That’s right, with YOU.
You can sit behind your new desk staring at your new computer and waiting for your new phone to ring, but if you don’t get out there, engage people, and make a point to help other people grown their business…there will be no buzz. I’ve written and spoken about how helping others grow their business helps us grow ours. That’s because people would rather do business with someone who sincerely wants to help them as opposed to someone who simply is trying to sell them something. Help a dozen professionals, be the solution to their problem, and what kind of word-of-mouth do you think you’ll generate about your business and personal brand?
But, “The Power of Personal PR” can work the other way as well. You see, every message you send is received, even if you don’t know it. The message you send will dictate the perception people have of you as a professional, and impact your personal brand accordingly.
Case in point is, Clint McCance, the Midland School District (Arkansas) board member under fire for his anti-gay comments on his Facebook page. I’m not looking to debate his First Amendment rights, but it’s perfectly clear that he’s facing a PR crisis based upon the message he chose to convey to his audience. His personal brand is going to take a huge hit, and there are discussions on whether he should lose his position. What about his other professional interests or his status in the community? The full impact of this situation has yet to be seen.
“The Power of Personal PR” can be the mechanism to catapult your business and personal brand to a new level, but failure to realize how the process works could cause irreparable damage just the same. This may be the first time you’ve heard of the concept, but it’s at the core of everything you do. Be aware of the message you communicate at networking events, office or client meetings, via social media applications (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn), as well as phone calls and email. Word-of-mouth is awesome, as long as the words coming out of the mouths of others can help build your business. And that, friends, all starts with the choices YOU make.
Tags: business, business development, car show, classic cars, inspiration, marketing, models, motivation, networking, new business, photographers, pin-up, pin-up girls, pr, relationships, Rosie's Riveters
How many of you hear the word “networking”, and automatically think of a coordinated event like a luncheon or happy hour? C’mon, raise your hand. No one is looking. If you raised your hand (and 99% of you should have), don’t worry. It’s perfectly natural. You see, we’re conditioned to think THAT is the kind of setting where we are supposed to do our networking. But, it’s not the only place.
The truth of the matter is that true networkers and successful professionals are capable of turning any situation into a networking opportunity. Now that doesn’t mean you need to make every occasion into an event (e.g. grocery shopping, time with family, men’s room, etc.), but keep your eyes open.
Case in point. This past weekend, I attended the 13th Annual Mobtown Greaseball classic car show (complete with pin-up contest) in Dundalk, Md. Phenomenal array of pre-’69 cars, trucks, and even some bikes…and oh yeah, the pin-up models. My wife, the ever-lovely Grl Nxt Door, is part of a new group called Rosie’s Riveters, and I was playing the part of the supportive spouse and enjoying all the great views (automotive and otherwise). While I try my darndest to play the behind-the-scenes role, it’s hard not to act upon certain opportunities as they’re presented.
For instance, my Top-10 Networking Tips post states to engage the host of an event. It’s not only polite, but it opens up opportunities to be introduced to dozens of others you wouldn’t (or couldn’t) ordinarily meet. I found myself coaching the girls here and there as I saw individuals they should interact with (promoters, photographers, owners of multiple vehicles), and proudly watched as they received several paid photo opps and interest in other events.
Some of you may contend you should be paid for the work that you do, and choosing to offer counsel gratis as I did is poor business. Well, if I did it ALL the time, I’d absolutely agree. But, true networking is about building relationships and making yourself invaluable, in some sense, to others. To accomplish this task and make others feel as though you provide some worth to them, you have to be willing to give rather than receive. Imagine that, I’ve written about the notion of giving before, haven’t I?
At the end of the day, I had several very happy pin-up girls who saw the value in the coaching I’d provided and who realized the potential that awaited them as a result of their appearance at the car show. Their Facebook page is abuzz with new photos and plans for upcoming events, all because I chose to offer my assistance…just as others have done to me years ago. What’s more, it made my day even more enjoyable by knowing my contribution made their day more successful. It’s called empowering yourself by empowering others. But wait, that’s another blog post (and book?) for another time.
I chose to choose. What will YOU choose to do?
Tags: Arthur Bryant's, bar-b-que, barbeque, bbq, bbq sandwich, bbq sauce, Carolina, Gates, Kansas City, Memphis, Oklahoma Joe's, pulled pork, Rendevous, ribs, sauce, Texas, Wabash
I grew up on the East Coast, in Maryland and Pennsylvania, and must admit I was rather sheltered when it came to the whole “BBQ” phenomenon. I mean, BBQ was something you did on the grill out back – burgers, hot dogs, steak, maybe some chicken.
Then I moved to Kansas City, and WOW!
Now, don’t get me wrong…I’d had a pulled pork sandwich before (and I still think Damon’s Grill has some of the best!), but nothing could have prepared me for such a fierce rivalry between cities!
I quickly was “schooled” on the “best” BBQ in Kansas City, and must admit I alienated myself from some based upon my preferences. The old guard will say Arthur Bryant’s is the best, others say Gates is far superior. It seems the more “corporate” folks tend to favor Fiorella’s Jack Stack, now with several locations around Kansas City. But BBQ in Kansas City is far, far more than several highly publicized restaurants. There are local icons like Rosedale Barbeque, Quick’s Bar-B-Q, Wabash BBQ, and more than 50 other smaller establishments. And no discussion on Kansas City BBQ would be complete without drawing special attention to the one-of-a-kind Oklahoma Joe’s, and its phenomenal array of BBQ and spicy slaw.
Fast forward a few years, after being fed the propaganda, taste-testing, and visits to the American Royal and Lenexa BBQ events, and I find myself walking down Beale Street in Memphis. I followed my colleagues lemming-like into the world-famous Charles Vergo’s Rendevous, to devour a stack of ribs. Dry rub? Hmmm…didn’t sound too appetizing to me…bring on the sauce!! Let’s just say my palate stood corrected, and I again found myself trying to discern BBQ style from BBQ style.
As I traveled the country, I reluctantly found myself an ambassador for Kansas City BBQ, as parties from Texas and the Carolinas would weigh in on their region’s rights to BBQ accolades, and assumed I was willing to debate the issue. I really didn’t care, as long as the pulled pork sandwich, ribs, and slaw were good. Oh, and don’t forget a fresh pickle.
Ultimately I’ve surmised the Battle of the Best BBQ never will be settled, as national pride (and millions in convention and tourism dollars) depends upon the continuance of this age-old culinary feud. Until such a winner can be declared, I’m content to reap the whirlwind of BBQ bickering and satiate my hunger with some good, old-fashioned Kansas City BBQ…from one of the not-so-touristy establishments.
Oh, and don’t forget the pickles!
Tags: Ben & Jerry's, Breyers, chocolate, Fall, flavors, Häagen-Dazs, ice cream, Moose Tracks, Summer, vanilla, Walgreen's
Whether it’s a sweltering 90 degree summer day or a cozy 72 indoors on a wintry day, ice cream is a delicacy enjoyed by tens of millions of Americans year-round. But the age-old debate still remains…vanilla or chocolate?
It used to be that ice cream was ice cream and the biggest decision when purchasing at your favorite grocer was how large a carton. Now, trying to make a selection in your ice cream aisle is more complicated than selecting the newest release at Redbox, or deciphering your HMO plan!
Brand loyalty is essential to any consumer product, and there are sects of ice cream lovers who will defend their favorite…Ben & Jerry’s vs. Häagen-Dazs, or classics like Breyers. But the local and regional dairies across the country comprise a major portion of the ice cream lover’s horizon, as they offer their own version of the national giants and even offer unique flavor sensations of their own. So what’s one to do? How to choose?
To the ice cream connoisseur, it all depends upon the original question, vanilla or chocolate? No matter how complex the flavor blend, all ice cream starts with either one or the other. Toss nuts, fruits or any other flavor into each, and you have a totally different result.
Personally, I’m a minimalist, in that the best ice cream is a classic vanilla from Breyers with some fresh, chopped fruit from the local farmer’s market on top. That’s NOT to say I don’t love to wander into my local Walgreens and scoop up a few pints of Moose Tracks from time to time. But again, look at the base: vanilla.
I’m not sure how we develop our preferences for ice cream, vanilla vs. chocolate. It doesn’t appear to be geographical in nature like pizza or BBQ, but we all hold strong to those prime flavors, and everything we build upon it.
Perhaps some ice cream anthropologists will chance upon this blog and decide to weigh in on the debate. In the meantime, I’ll sit back with my bowl of vanilla-inspired ice cream, feet up, and simply enjoy mouthful after mouthful of ice cream delight.
Tags: Baltimore, cheese, Chicago, crust, deep dish, DIYers, food, foodie, Kansas City, New Jersey, New York, pizza, sauce, St. Louis, toppings
Everyone loves their pizza, and in some homes, it’s more American than apple pie. But where that home sits on the map, determines what the pizza looks and tastes like…and it can vary drastically. And you know what? Some are very adamant that their pizza is the best style. The line has been drawn in the sauce…
For instance, if you grew up in the Mid-Atlantic or Northeast as I did, the New York-style pizza with its fold-in-half slice of cheesy goodness is the only way to go. Pizza is served with a soft, thin bottom crust and airy outer crust and typically only adorned with one or two toppings, though that can vary. Whether in Little Italy, a mom-and-pop shop in Washington Heights, or even select locations across the river in New Jersey, it’s the only description that passes for real pizza.
While New Yorkers are reveling in their tomato pie glory, 800 miles to the west, Chicago residents are shaking their heads and sinking their teeth into nearly three inches of pizza heaven they refer to as (deep) dish. A top and lower crust of dough stuffed with more than a pound of cheese, meat, vegetables, or whatever topping pleases the diner, the Chicago-style pizza no doubt leaves the stomach more than content…if not downright stuffed in its own right!
How can the objective diner choose between the proverbial apples and oranges of pizza making? But wait…that’s not all of the options!
As if this generational battle isn’t complicated enough, throw in the St. Louis-style pizza, with its thin, cracker crust or then the more specialty, gourmet pizzas with their exotic cheeses and toppings! For those pizza lovers looking to avoid retail locations altogether, there are a number of brands of simple and gourmet pizzas of all types available at most local grocers. FINALLY, you have those DIYers who insist that the best pizza clearly is the one blessed by their own flour-covered hands.
So in this great pizza oven we call the United States of America, what kind of pizza reigns supreme, which style tops all the rest, and which are just plain cheesy?
Well, my suggestion is to follow mom’s general rule of thumb, “How do you know whether you like it, if you don’t at least try it?”
Truer words never were spoken, and indulging in some delectable pizza for “research” sounds like a great plan, even for a biased NY-style lover like myself!
(See you soon!)
Tags: attitude, blog, Bob Burg, brand, business, choice, giving, giving back, Go-Giver, inspiration, marketing, motivation, networking, new business, personal brand, pr, prospecting, prospects, publicity, self-improvement, success, word-of-mouth
Call it karma, call it paying it forward, call it what you want. Just do it. If someone took their time to mentor or assist you when you needed it, then do it for another. Resist the ME MOVEMENT and realize that you’ll gain far more in life by being selfless and giving of yourself. Life is not a one-way street. People quickly recognize who donates their time, their resources, and their positive attitude.
In the business world, many refer to this as corporate social responsibility. In a nutshell, companies give back to their communities and/or charitable organizations. Countless studies have shown customers tend to patronize, and remain loyal to, brands that seem to care about others. So…what is the perception of YOUR brand?
Now let’s look at this from a business-to-business standpoint. Regardless of your business or industry, you’re looking to grow your prospects and ultimately generate new business, right? Who are you more inclined to work with…someone who constantly tries to sell you something, or someone who is working to help you grow your business? Enough said. Now read on.
Bob Burg refers to this as the Go-Giver concept, and I couldn’t agree more! It’s just smart business to help others when and where you can. It seems counterintuitive, to some, to think that you can gain more by giving. But think of the old adage we heard growing up, “it is better to give than receive.” These sayings don’t pass through the ages by accident, folks. There’s wisdom to be had here!
The other advantage is something I will explain in greater detail in an upcoming blog post and speaking series, “The Power of Personal PR”. We all know the best form of publicity is word-of-mouth. But, that word-of-mouth has to start somewhere, doesn’t it? Make a choice to give back to others, share what you’ve learned, what you know…and see just what kind of words will come from the mouths of those you’ve helped. Your brand will thank you for it.
I chose to choose. What will YOU choose to do?