You have numerous casual conversations with those in your network every week. Your network includes family, neighbors, friends, social groups, church, clubs, etc. Your sphere of influence is unique. How can you recognize opportunities for business and transition those casual chats into a business conversation?
Before you “freak out” and get some awful taste in your mouth about slimy salesy pitchmen, I am not talking about sales! I am not talking about selling like you are in the hottest new pyramid scheme. I am talking about discovering opportunity when it presents itself. The conversation should be organic, not contrived.
Here are a few tips for helping you discover business opportunity in your network of relationships.
I have sat in many trade show booths through the years. Inevitably, vendors of equipment and other service providers take advantage of the opportunity to come by the booth to try and sell something. Many are distributers of equipment used in our projects. Others are insurance providers or human resource consultants. Almost all are poor salesmen. Here are the most common traits of bad salesmen.
I do not remember when I first discovered this saying. I do remember thinking, “I need to remember this!”
Lack of planning on YOUR part does not constitute an emergency on MY part. Or, lack of planning on MY part does not constitute an emergency on YOUR part. It works both ways!
I wanted to remember this phrase because I have been both the perpetrator of forcing an emergency on someone else due to my negligence and I have been the victim of others’ negligence. In either case, it does not foster healthy relationships or a strong work environment.
The best way to avoid pushing emergencies on your teammates is to plan ahead and communicate. Taking a few minutes to prepare for your day, your week, your month is well-invested time that pays huge dividends. You may deceive yourself into thinking, “I don’t have time to waste planning out every task and every step. We just need to get it done!” This is a deception because you will spend more time correcting errors, explaining, and reworking than if you had communicated a plan from the start.
So, the next time you are tempted to push your disregard onto someone else, pause and take responsibility for your misstep. It may be necessary to apologize. Then move forward by taking the time to plan and communicate with your team.
Gabe Lett, FSMPS, CPSM, LPC