Walking the Talk in Your Business

I once saw someone’s social media post telling me how their vitamin line would not only make me skinny and healthy, it would also make me wealthy. While there is nothing objectionable about any of these outcomes, the jarring reality is that the person who was promoting this wonderful opportunity was neither skinny nor healthy, and they had recently been posting updates about how they were desperately trying to dig themself out of debt!

Do you see the disconnect here? I’m sure you have seen people at networking meetings and events who will stand up, introduce themselves, and deliver a promise-filled monologue about how their product or service will bring you all kinds of things which they themselves obviously do not have the benefit of enjoying.

What’s missing is congruency.

When your professional message is not congruent with your personal situation, your networking efforts will not be effective. If you are promoting yourself as a wellness coach, and yet you are often sick and are 20 pounds overweight, there is a noticeable incongruence for which it will be hard for you to compensate. When I want to refer my colleagues to a wellness coach, I will refer them to someone who is healthy, fit, and obviously achieving the results they promise that one will receive from participating in their program.

This may seem logical, and yet I often see people all over the world with incongruent messages. Ask yourself how congruent YOUR message is. If you are a professional organizer, is your briefcase or your office a disaster? If you are a car detailer, how does your own vehicle look? If you have never done so before now, take stock today of your message. Evaluate what you are saying about the benefits of your products or services and compare that to what you are showing people.

Walking the Talk

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “What you do thunders above your head so loudly, I cannot hear the words you speak.” In his book, Inside the Magic Kingdom, Tom Connellan calls this “walking the talk.”

In a BNI Podcast episode, Priscilla Rice shared that there was a time management person in her BNI Chapter would never stop talking. They would always go over the amount of time each member was given for their Weekly Presentation. Think about it – if you are a time management person and you can’t stay on time, what kind of credibility does that give you?

I spoke once to the National Association of Professional Organizers. I was curious and wondered – how good and how organized is this conference going to be? After I spoke and was there for a little while, I found one of the organizers of the event and said, “You should be proud. This was one of the most well-run events I have ever been at.” He replied, “Well, we are professional organizers. It should be.”

That organization was very congruent with their message; they were walking the talk. It gave me great confidence – not only about the organization, it also gave me more confidence about professional organizers.

Remember, it’s about giving people confidence; you have to be able to walk the talk. A time management person needs to be on time. An organizer needs to be organized.

When your professional image or your professional message is not congruent with your personal situation, it impacts the effectiveness of your networking. Be congruent in your actions and your words, particularly when it comes to building professional relationships with potential referral partners.

How are you doing when it comes to walking the talk in your business? It will make a noticeable difference in the success of your networking efforts.

Do you have a story about someone (no names) whose message was not congruent with their actions?  I’d love to hear about it.

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