why

Telling your why

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

The Top 4 Reasons You’re Avoiding Networking

41xThu+7htL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_ (1)Late September 2015, Avoiding the Networking Disconnect: The Three R’s to Reconnect, my new book co-authored with Brennan Scanlon was released to the public. So many business people walk into a networking event with the intention to sell, and they never are trying to buy. When you’re in a room full of people, all trying to sell their products and services, but nobody is buying, this is essentially the networking disconnect.

Along with explaining this disconnect, and many other topics, Brennan and I also go into the top four reasons most business people avoid networking. To learn more about connecting over disconnecting, be sure to pick up a copy of our book.

 

Lack of Confidence

Many people fear not being able to contribute in a networking setting. More confident and experienced networkers can intimidate newbies in the crowd. Fear of rejection and an apprehension toward new contacts can also hinder one’s confidence in the networking arena.

These are all mindsets. So many businesspeople identify as an introvert, but are able to get themselves out of their own heads and put themselves out there in the name of building their business.

 

Being Too Busy

No matter what business you are in, sometimes it can just feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. With work, your family, and your friends, do you really have time for any more commitments? Especially something as trivial as networking? You might think no, but the answer is yes, you should! If you want your business to grow, you’ve got to make time for networking.

We all have 24 hours in a day, and seven days in a week. People who seem like they have everything balanced simply don’t have more time in the day than you do, they just prioritize things more than you do. People will always, 100 percent of the time, make the time to do what is important to them. Make networking and growing your business one of those priorities.

 

Impatience

Networking is like farming, because it is about cultivating long term relationships to help your business grow. There is some, but minimal, immediate return on your time investment, but any large reward will take a while to begin rolling in. You need to dedicate the time to build your relationships so that your contacts trust you and are more willing to help you. Don’t let impatience get in your way of growing your business.

 

Lack of Understanding

Despite all the obvious pros to networking, there is still so much misunderstanding about the true gain to be had here. Many believe networking is about selling, which goes right back to our networking disconnect. Networking is something that you do with people, not to people. Walking up to someone and introducing yourself and asking to do business with them is not networking, it is direct selling, plain and simple. Understanding what networking is and how to do it effectively is step one of the journey.

 

Leave me a comment in the field below if you are guilty of avoiding networking. What are you going to do to turn that around?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
   Follow Me

Get every new post delivered to your inbox