The weather is beautiful. It's time to get out, 'network' and meet new people. Yet three common networking concerns surface and might hold us back. The most common networking concerns that I hear are what I call the sales plagues of the "P":
- Fear of Being PUSHY
- Plagued by Perfection
- The Pessimism of Possibly Hearing NO
Here are some ways to reframe and conquer these these fears:
Fear of being PUSHYThis concern is real because some people assign direct sellers the reputation of being PUSHY and some direct sellers are PUSHY. The issue is sometimes due to faulty perception or preconceived notions and other times is due to ineffective actions. This reaction is warranted when people pitch their business too soon, and act like their business opportunity, product or service is the cure all for everyone. Even though it is important to be enthusiastic and enthusiasm is an attractive quality, it can be misconstrued. These actions may be a deterrent, unless the other person is receptive to listen and ready to buy.
Other guaranteed repellents to avoid while pursuing prospects include: pity, desperation, and (worth repeating)...diving into the pursuit of business before discovering the motivational need or desire for a product or service.
To conquer the fears of PUSHY calibrate your volume control. Are you an introvert or extravert?
As an introvert, you may have the desire to speak to the bank teller or the person at a luncheon; however by the time you work up the courage to assert yourself, and figure out what to say...the opportunity is gone. To increase your effectiveness, turn up the volume and be ready to converse. Shift your focus toward building new relationships instead of focusing on finding immediate new business. With practice and encouragement, this action will grow to be routine and sincere.
As an extrovert, you may drive people away with your strong conviction, enthusiasm and zeal. In order to increase your effectiveness, turn down the volume to connect with others. With patience and objectivity, the prospects will blossom accordingly.
I spoke at an organization meeting recently about the benefit of being an entrepreneur. Bob walked in and at the end of meeting out of the blue; he said something similar to this:
A heavy cloud dropped over the room as he plowed forward and made his announcement. Eyes rolled, faces scrunched and immediately after the small group of people looked down so as not to make eye contact. The response reflected the aftermath of PUSHY. To increase effectiveness, focus on noticing the impact you are having on others. Find ways to meet their needs and build rapport before blurting out business bids. Look for signals of interest, curiosity and permission to proceed.
Hey everyone I have a fantastic new opportunity that my millionaire friend and I are bringing to this town. She has made gazillions from this industry and now is your chance to jump on board... If you are interested you can just listen to this CD and come to the meeting. The key word here is "WELL-NESS"
Plagued by PerfectionRelease yourself from the idea that your delivery needs to be perfect or that each encounter needs to be a hit. By focusing on practice and progress, you will develop a personal style. If all you walk away with is practice, you still benefit in the end. Stay in a learning mode, allow yourself to make mistakes and improve as you figure out how to effectively manage your volume control.
The Pessimism of Possibly Hearing NOBe mindful of the fact that receiving a 'no' is not a personal rejection or personal attack. When new contacts sense that you have let go of the outcome, conversation flows easier and the context is more comfortable. When they sense that a no will be difficult for you to hear or accept, the conversation tends to get awkward or indirect. You never really know where you stand.
A 'no' provides additional opportunities for reflection, and sometimes correction. No may mean 'not now' versus 'never'. When you do get a no, ask if it is OK to check back at a later date. When you reconnect your contact may be willing to reconsider.
Most professional relationships form after six communications. Fostering the connections during future meetings will often help build the relationship, generate referrals and give you better results.
When you find your optimal volume control and networking style, your potential to bring in new business is limitless. Each interaction bears a different set of circumstances, with a different outcome. With an understanding for the importance of networking, your sales will increase, and your businesses will simply grow.
Conquer the 3 most common networking concerns and turn these 3 "P" sales plagues into unlimited possibility.