I recently presented a training session at a business conference. The audience were leaders from around Australia. I gave them a break 2 minutes and asked them to stand up and talk to each other. When we returned, I asked how many of them had a place to meet someone they do not know. A solitary hand went up in the air. One!
This was particularly important that the workshop of the conference was to establish effective business relationships. The moral of this exercise is that we are naturally attracted to people who know and like. And it is easy to maintain our current network of customers, colleagues and industry contacts. It can be scary when we have to meet new people.
But – the point of view of business development – is a very selfish when we are not brave enough too reach people who do not know. And ‘selfish for us to avoid engaging with people with whom we might be able to develop a mutually beneficial relationship. I talked to many customers, and education representatives who are reluctant to meet new people. They feel a bit ‘awkward and unsure of themselves.
Do you look like?
In many cases, this reluctance is based on self-centered emotions, such as:
* They do not like me.
* I do not know what to say.
* I’m not good at small talk.
* My new business, and I’ll look like a beginner.
* They’ll think I’m boring.
* It seems strange to talk with a stranger.
* They all seem to know. I’ll be the outsider.
It is ironic that most people feel the same way and could easily comforted each other. But everyone keeps to the “safe” relationship, they already know. Thus, in our efforts to stay in our comfort zone, we act selfishly and do not fully explore new opportunities.
This may be the “kiss of death” to a service. Especially for new businesses or those trying to expand into new areas. Meeting new people is essential to the success of the organization.
Responding to – and the full involvement – with new people (potential customers, partners, or in reference sources), we open our doors to:
* To learn about other companies.
* To learn about new opportunities for us.
* Learn how others achieve their goals.
* Learn “and not” do something.
* Learn what is “‘to those who are more experienced.
* Learning that we are able to deal with extended comfort zone.
* Learn to be more effective.
One of the biggest challenges for service providers, professionals, entrepreneurs and sales people is to have new confidence to strike new relationships.
You owe it to yourself and your business (or your employer).
Tools you need are:
* Ability to listen actively.
* The flexibility and patience.
* A genuine interest in the diversity of other people.
* A good dose of self-knowledge, communication to control their natural impulses.
* A well-rehearsed self-presentation, elevator pitch, the introduction of 30 seconds, or audio logo (the one you prefer to call it).
* The ability acceptable social etiquette.
* The discipline to ensure follow-up after initial contact.
For those who have the courage, and learn the necessary skills, a new world of opportunity and success await you.