Creating a vision that is unrealogical. What is your vision?
Is your vision UNREALOGICAL???
You probably are not even sure what that means! This month, Tiffanie is joined again by one of her coaches, Deb Cheslow, of Cheslow Achievement Group, to explore a conversation around vision… and hopefully, yours is UNREALOGICAL!
At Cheslow Achievement Group, our vision is to continually develop mind, body, and spirit, living a life of prosperity and joy, so that we may change lives for the better and empower others through teaching, coaching, and training, to seek out their own purpose, live their lives to the fullest and realize their dreams.
Stop. What are you doing in business right now and why? Imagine if you asked yourself this question before doing anything. Sure, in cases such as brushing your teeth, bathing, and eating, you don’t need to explore these decisions. What about your business activities? There is a thin line between a groove and a rut. Major changes are often unnecessary, and sometimes small ones can regain our rhythm. You may find that you hit your groove again when you re-determine your “why,” also known as your ECC (Emotionally Charged Connection.)
Whether you’re a CPA or a mechanic, with all due respect, we don’t care. We really don’t. What we care about is why you put your feet on the floor this morning and decided to stand up and go to work. There can be so many reasons, and only you know what they are. But does the rest of the world? Would you step over a winning lottery ticket if you knew it was more than a piece of paper? Would I step past you if I knew not only what you do but why you do it? People don’t care much about what we do for a living, or how we operate until they know what drives us. Most of the people we meet talk to us only about what they do, but they never explain why.
Let’s explore the five reasons your why should come first.
Believability—Skepticism is at an all-time high. Think about all the different channels of communication now available to us to broadcast our message, not to mention the vast number of people and businesses vying for attention. Among TV, social media, and radio, it’s enough to make anyone’s head spin. It’s only natural to defend ourselves from the onslaught. Automatically, people are not to be believed—that is, until they give us a compelling reason to do so.
Likeability—“Sell yourself, not your stuff,” Virginia Musquiz said recently at a Referral Institute conference in Petaluma, California. Webster defines a “commodity” as a “mass-produced unspecialized product.” Ouch! Do other people sell what you sell? If the answer is yes, you’d better get some likeability. Products and price being relatively equal, people will always choose to buy from someone they genuinely like.
Authenticity—When and how have you failed? It’s true that no one wants to look bad. However, if you look perfect, that is even worse. Weave stories about your failures and imperfections into your conversations with others. If you can show some humility early on, you will shorten the trust timeline. It’s OK to share with people that you make mistakes, especially if you then tell how you’ve fixed them.
Connectivity—What do we have in common? In a recent training session, we learned that the other people in the class enjoyed photography, cycling, cooking, nature, and running. Bonding and rapport come when you share the same hobbies with someone else or when you are interested in learning more.
Referability—Recently an electrician told us the dramatic story about his career choice. He said, “When I was an eleven years old, my family rushed out of our home in the middle of the night due to an electrical fire in the basement. While everyone made it out all right, we lost everything—the house and all of our earthly possessions. I knew then that I never wanted this to happen to anyone else, so that’s why I became an electrician.” If your story is not this dramatic, that’s OK. But we still want to know the reason why you do what you do.
It makes no difference how you communicate your message, whether it’s TV, radio, print advertising, billboards, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, keynote presentations, or face-to-face meetings. Until we know why, it doesn’t matter what you do.
This blog topic is out of the book. “Avoiding the Networking Disconnect” which I wrote with Brennon Scanlon.
Recently, I took the opportunity to gather almost 3,400 survey responses from business people around the world. I gave them a list of almost 20 different characteristics on networking and I asked them to pick the top behaviors they’d like to see in a great networker. From those responses, I have identified the top characteristics of what people believe makes a great networker and have listed them here in this video.
At the top of the list is being a good listener. Our success in networking depends on how well we can listen and learn. The faster you and your networking partner learn what you need to know about each other, the faster you’ll establish a valuable relationship. A good networker has two ears and one mouth and should use them both proportionately. Listen to people’s needs and concerns and find opportunities to help them. You can’t help others if you don’t know what they need, and you find that out by listening. In many ways, networking is about connecting the dots but to do that you have to listen so that you can help people make the connections they are looking for.
The first thing that people see from you is your attitude, how you take things in general. A consistently negative attitude makes people dislike you and drives away referrals; a positive attitude makes people want to associate and cooperate with you. Positive business professionals are like magnets. Others want to be around them and will send their friends and family to them.
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Helping people shows that you care. One survey respondent said that “people want to network with individuals who have a collaborative attitude.” Helping others can be done in a variety of ways. For example, clip a helpful article and email it to someone. Furthermore, put them in touch with a person who can help them with a specific challenge. Several respondents commented about not wanting to network with people who are “in it for themselves.” A willingness to collaborate and help others is essential. It builds trust and helps establish a strong relationship.
You can offer the help, the thanks, the listening ear, but if you are not sincerely interested in the other person, they will know it! Those who have developed successful networking skills convey their sincerity at every turn. One respondent stated that “it’s all about the authenticity” that someone shows you. We have all seen people who are seemingly good at networking but lack sincerity. Faking it isn’t sustainable.
If you offer opportunities, whether a simple piece of information, a special contact, or a qualified business referral, to someone who consistently fails to follow up, you’ll soon stop wasting your time with this person. One respondent said that when it comes to networking, “the fortune lies in the follow up” and many people just “don’t follow up anymore.”
We simply can’t achieve success at networking without strategically building VCP = visibility, earning credibility, and then ultimately gaining profitability.
VCP is a referral process, not a sales process. If the majority of your clients aren’t giving you referrals, then you are only at Credibility with your clients, not at Profitability. It’s possible that you can have a lot of Visibility and a lot of Credibility, but NOT have Profitability. Rather than a formula, VCP is a continuum. Before you can refer to someone, you will need to know, like, and trust them.
In this guest video blog, Tiffanie Kellog, a trainer for Asentiv Florida, explores the three stages of the VCP process. Click here to watch.
In short, your goal should be to first enter Visibility with people, then perform activities that will help you build trust and Credibility with them, and finally through time and the strengthening of that relationship, they will most likely pass you consistent referrals in the Profitability stage. After all, “It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.”
Teaching is a leaky bucket process. You start with a whole bucket of information. When you train someone how to do something, a little information leaks out. When they train someone else and that information is taught to someone else, some of that information leaks out. The people being taught only get that limited version of the information based on their understanding and ability to articulate the material.
By the time you are in the third or fourth generation of people passing along the information, you only have about half a bucket remaining and you’ve lost half the information. There’s a sense that something’s missing. What do they do? When the bucket of information gets low, people start putting in their own content in. The problem is that it might not be good content. Very rarely does the material improve over time with this process.
So how do we plug these leaks?
I learned early on the best solution is to write everything down and to develop “train the trainer” material so there was consistency in the system and the training needs to be conducted in a way that is scalable. When teaching, your “whole bucket” needs to be written down and all the parties who conduct the training need to follow the process without adding or substituting their own stuff. Making the training as part of a replicable system is the best way to fill the leaks. This became even more important as we spread BNI into various countries and cultures worldwide.
All too often, when facing a problem, the first thing we tend to do is focus on the negative situation. We continue to repeat our patterns, doing the same things that do not work, until we dwell in a feeling of negativity. Many people let their minds wander toward the negative, which then prompts them to focus on more problems instead of searching for ways to resolve the situation and grow from it. You must begin to start focusing on ways to actually resolve the situation by focusing on solutions. Do not just react, take the time to fully analyze the problem then make a list of possible solutions.
Identify the problem(s)
Identify what you did before in a similar problem
Brainstorm possible solutions.
Change what doesn’t work
Find and use resources
Decide which solution is best
Put that solution into play
Build on each successive step
Try to do more of what works
Use an alternative solution if not achieving the required results
Regardless of how bad your problem may be, the solution is there if you think long and hard enough. Not every solution will work for this problem. However, when we start to think of more ways to overcome our problems, we can grow from the situation at hand by being more prepared for the next problem we will face down the road. We can even avoid future problems because if we focus on problems, we will get more problems. If we focus on solutions, we will get more solutions. By being aware and reminding yourself of your list of solutions you just created, you can focus on solutions, not problems.
If you bring people into your network who embrace your core value, you will create an amazing network. Incorporating the philosophy of Givers Gain ® into my organization was one of the things that have really set BNI aside from the other networking groups. We have inculcated this core value into the fabric of BNI. Therefore, “Givers Gain ®” became part of the very DNA of the organization. That is incredibly special.
Years ago, I was sharing those words with a well-known business consultant and friend. He was going to be speaking at a big BNI conference the next day. He listened to me and said, “Oh Ivan, you know that’s not true, am I right? You know that the Founder of every organization thinks that some key philosophy is embraced by most everyone in a company. It is really not so” I told him, “No, it really is inculcated into the DNA of the company. Most everyone knows it in BNI. Don’t believe me – confirm it yourself. Ask your audience about it tomorrow.”
So, the next day, during his presentation, he stopped and said “Oh, I have a question for you, what’s the philosophy of this company?” He then heard a resounding, “GIVERS GAIN!”
He was astonished and said to me, “Ivan, do you know how incredible it is that almost everyone in an organization at all levels of that organization understand the company’s guiding core value? Do you?
I understand how amazing that is. Therefore, I do not take it for granted. It is one of the things that make BNI special. “Givers Gain®” is BNI’s principle core value. It is based on the age-old concept of “what goes around comes around.” Furthermore, if I help you, you’ll help me – and we’ll all do better as a result of it.
In conclusion, he owed me dinner that night based on a little wager we had.
It is very important to be prepared to introduce yourself by breaking down your business into your LCD’s (Lowest Common Denominators). Each week, create a business educational curriculum to train your sales force to focus on just ONE aspect of your business.
For example, each week just focus on:
– A service
– A product
– A benefit
When you want to nail a presentation, start by explaining your lowest common denominators, or the most immediate, universal value of your business. Your LCD is your secret weapon.
Click on the graphic below, or click here, to see this video. Learn more about developing this training approach for your weekly presentations.
There were a fair number networking groups around when I started BNI in 1985. However, they were either really mercenary or too social. I knew the only way BNI could stand out as a networking organization is by having a genuine focus on giving first and getting second.
Years ago, a brand new BNI member shared with his local BNI Director that he had just had an epiphany. “You know,” he said, “this whole concept of Givers Gain, and helping other businesses so they help you, it’s a little bit like taking off your bib and putting on an apron. I have lived my professional career trying to find ways to close deals and get what I want in business by having others help me. I think I’ve missed the point. Networking is really about trying to find ways to help other people. You take off that bib and put on an apron, you help others and they will help you.”
When I started BNI, I focused the meetings on building relationships by helping others first and that’s what the philosophy “Givers Gain” is all about. This philosophy is a standard that we should all apply to ourselves and how we behave with other people, not a stick we use to get someone to do something we think they should be doing. If you bring in other people into your network who embrace and employ this core value, you will create an amazing and powerful network. Therefore, take off that bib and put on an apron!