Valuable business activities in your life revolve around the value you bring to the situation, and the value you add to helping people solve their problems. You are spending time to represent what you value in life.
You are literally spending your life.
Remember, one of the supreme efforts made nowadays is the networking that takes place in Social Media. This may be one step removed from a face-to-face networking club, but, if done correctly, it can be very powerful.
In certain businesses, live networking is still important. It is not inappropriate for certain salespeople or account executives to travel to their key accounts or key prospects by car or even by airplane. But, nowadays, everyone uses social networking to some degree.
Networking should be part of your life, something you should do every week. When you do, don’t make the networking confrontation about yourself. Make it about building a deeper relationship with your new contact, asking questions that are contextual to the person with whom you are speaking- trying to learn as much as possible; remembering that people are typically extremely interested in themselves and that is not necessarily wrong- because caring about your own life counts for something big. Otherwise, why are we told to “Love Thy neighbor as thyself?”
“Thyself” counts for you- but it also counts for the people you are networking with.
Since often networking works with lightening-like speed, your opportunity to make a great impression may be limited to a few minutes. And depending what you are presenting and in what venue you are presenting it, you may actually be asking for a sale or at least to find out that there might be an interest in a sale. That means that a “yes” or a “no” may be eminent.
Most of us can handle a “yes” fairly evenly- as long as we don’t start jumping up and down and screaming “hallelujah” or some such thing that belongs in either a church or a teenage cheerleading rally. “Yes” should prompt you, instead, to pay attention to the details of the sale and the service to the customer. Be grateful, polite and finish up quickly all the paperwork- but keep your dignity. By the way, hearing the first “yes” in this way during a presentation is a mark of a top-notch professional.
On the other hand, many networkers and sales people do not know how to handle “NO’s” and that is what these blogs are about. Ask yourself right now- after you introduce yourself, how do you handle a silent or awkward “NO?”? Are you nice, or genuinely nice, bringing elegance to your counterpart? Without seeming like a robot, how do we mentally gear up for this? How do you handle a “no” without seeming formulaic or distant or angry?
Watch some reality TV and you will see how producers make a bundle selling advertising so you can view: “awkward, angry,hurtful, revengeful and selfish” portrayals of how NOT-TO-ACT when socially interacting with top caliber business people like yourself.
Realize above all- “NO” does not necessarily mean forever. And, unless the contact involved has contradicted themselves by changing their mind inappropriately or has been unnecessarily rude or has show bad intentions, you may want to keep them as a prospect. Sometimes a sale can take weeks or even years.
Besides getting into more definitive ways of acting and thinking about “no’s,” you need to examine your general emotional and physical condition? What company are you keeping? Are you busted and disgusted, or are you having fun? What are ways you can have fun and be engaging?
Hearing and saying no elegantly will help with the proper focus, attention, and ability to do so legitimately and profitably. But this will only be relatively easy and comfortable if you are that way, in general, within yourself. A healthy, positive and nurturing lifestyle will keep you on track in sales. So this is something to think about, too.
Sandra LaFlamme LaFlamme Advanced Communication Training
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