How introverts can enjoy networking events & social gatherings without feeling guilty or drained

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If you’re an introvert, networking in person on a regular basis can be a challenge.  Not that you don’t enjoy socializing and connecting.  In fact, cultivating real connections with others is probably one of your strengths.

But, it just can be so draining, can’t it?

And, then holiday season arrives!  Now all your friends, all your family, all your colleagues and business associates want you to join them at all the parties and social events going on.

What do you do to manage your energy, have fun & avoid burnout?

Well, you’re in luck!  I asked my friend Beth Buelow of The Introvert Entrepreneur to share restorative success tips with us so we can avoid the guilt and dread of all the socializing and actually enjoy the holidays with loved ones.

These tips, of course, can be used throughout the year.

Watch the video and share in the comments what you do to manage your energy:

What would you add?

What do YOU do to preserve your sanity and increase your joy during holiday time and social events?

7 Reasons Goals and New Year’s Resolutions Typically Do Not Work

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“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” ~Abraham Lincoln

road leading to somewhere - forestDesiring growth, change, and expansion is natural.  For us who are in business for ourselves, setting marketing and sales goals is an important way to stay focused and measure how we’re doing.  It also helps us adjust course, as needed.

Of course, this can happen any time of the year, but it’s probably most keenly on our minds at the beginning/end of a New Year or Quarter, when folks everywhere are setting goals and resolving this month, quarter, year will be different from the last.

It’s frustrating, though, when they are quickly back to their less-than-productive habits even before the proverbial ink is dry on the paper they wrote them on (or the computer screen! lol).

Even more so when the failed intention turns out to be the very same goal or resolution left undone from last year.

And the year before that.

And the year before that.

Doesn’t it drive you crazy?!   Phil Connors, Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day, must have felt like he had completely lost his mind when he finds himself living the same day over and over and over again.

Can you relate?

Probably a silly question.  We all can relate to this very madness.

 

 

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ~Unknown

There are at least 7 core reasons goals and New Year’s Resolutions typically do not work.  Rather than resolving not to make resolutions or to set goals at all for fear of failing (again), the first step to successfully navigating around obstacles is awareness of their existence.

After all, it’s only when you can actually see the pothole in your path that you can avoid falling into it.

n1-1The first challenge is the resolution or goal is not specific enough.  You’ve heard it before, but have you applied it to your own resolutions?

Suppose your goal is to make more money.  Can you imagine how frustrating it would be to find a penny or two on the ground when what you really desired was to generate an additional $5,000 in client income per month?

The example may sound simplistic, but the message is a powerful one.  Very specific goals and resolutions create very specific results.  Specificity drives the engine and induces the focus needed to accomplish what it is you wish to change.

 

n2-2It could be your goal is set too high or is otherwise unreasonable.

I’d like to offer a caveat:  No one has created anything great by setting “reasonable” or “realistic” goals.  What does happen, though, is that some people tend to set themselves up for failure.

For example, someone may wish to earn a million dollars in their business next year, but they are currently making only $45,000.It’s not that the goal is impossible.   It’s just completely unbelievable to the Ego; it gives it too much ammunition to keep you stuck where you are (or worse).

It’s the same thing that creates self-sabotage in people trying to lose weight, start a business, stop smoking, develop a more intimate relationship with their mate or partner, or whatever the goal may be.

n3-3On the other side of the spectrum, the resolution may manifest as no challenge at all.  Maybe you’ve set the goal too low.

A goal that doesn’t challenge or stretch you in some way is little better than not creating one at all.  How would you feel about failing to achieve something that you absolutely knew should have been super-easy for you?

It’s not very good for the self-esteem.Change and growth only occurs when there is pressure to do so.  As stagnant water births and spreads disease, so will impotent goals stop you in your tracks.

n4-4Expecting perfection rather than progress is a big New Year’s Resolutions Killer.  Disillusioned by a setback or a relapse, many give up too soon.

There’s a great story out there (VERY paraphrased) about a man who spent many years digging in search of the fabled gold on his property.  Finally in frustration, he decides to sell the property for a ridiculously low price, say $500.

The new owner, shovel in hand, digs up just a couple of shovelfuls of Earth to find riches beyond his wildest imaginings. Missteps and setbacks are par for the course.  Remember that your Pot of Gold is just two shovelfuls away.

 

n5-5One reason goals (and specifically New Year’s Resolutions) typically do not work is the makers of them do not expect to keep them.

I get it.  It’s easy to go down this road because of a not-so-great track record.  Or, maybe you’re going through the motions because that’s what your *supposed* to do.

Expectation is a powerful thing, so powerful that we may not realize that year after year, we are simply participating in an empty ritual that devoid of any real intention of honoring what we’ve resolved to do or be.

Check yourself:  Why are you making the resolution in the first place?  Do you really expect to keep it?

 

n6-6A powerful reason that is often a big pill to swallow is the assertion that people fail to keep self-promises because they don’t really want to change anyway.

If this is your challenge, it may be very hard to see.  This is because it just might not be the right goal for you.  In other words, you do not have sufficient compelling reasons for accomplishing the goal; it just isn’t that important to you.

Perhaps you are doing it for someone else, like quitting smoking or drinking in order to save an unhealthy relationship.  Unfortunately such motivation rarely leads to lasting change and nearly always leads to cancerous resentment.Or, it could be the resolution or goal is “a should.”

Whenever you find yourself telling yourself you should or shouldn’t do or be a thing, it’s most definitely not the goal for you, at least not at this time.

 

n7-7Perhaps the granddaddy of all reasons why goals and New Year’s Resolutions typically fail is lack of a solid and dependable support system.

What better way to exert a bit of positive pressure than to enlist the assistance of a friend, coach, Mastermind Group, or the like to celebrate your progress with you at every turn and to give you a swift kick in the bum when you need it.

 

Do you see yourself in any of these areas of potential pitfall in the coming quarter, month or New Year?

If so, congratulations!  Sometimes knowledge of the obstacle is itself curative, enabling you to finally turn the corner from dishonoring your self-promises to embracing the powerful, positive change you seek.

What would you add?

Are there other pitfalls or obstacles to goal achievement we should be aware of?

How to beat overwhelm, overcome procrastination, & get into action

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Have you ever felt you’re getting too big or a sales or marketing project was just too overwhelming or that things were moving too fast in your business and you just might fall flat on your face if you don’t pull in the reins?

Or, here’s a good one:  You keep planning and making lists and outlining to-dos, but you don’t seem to be making any headway.

Sound familiar?  Well, you’re definitely not alone.  Distraction and procrastination are my daily companions.

And the sad part is that the longer your procrastinate on getting your marketing and sales initiatives out in the world, the longer your potential clients have to wait to get served. Or, they do get served, but it’s by someone else who may or may not be the perfect fit for them.

In this video, I share what I’ve been up to, why it may seem a little crazy (and would be if you took it literally!), and why it works (when you actually do it!). Watch the video (It’s just over 3 minutes…..hope you don’t mind my craziness! LOL), and then share with me your takeaways in the comments below.

  • Does the concept in the video resonate with you?
  • What does it bring up for you?
  • What would be amazing about letting that go & permit you to be more of service to you clients?
  • What’s your next step to implement your learning?

Lessons from Iggy Azalea: How to distinguish yourself from “the competition”

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I never imagined I’d reference Iggy Azalea in the context of differentiation in selling professional services.  Now that I think of it, though, it doesn’t actually sound so strange.

After all, Iggy is pretty different! LOL

You’ll see what I mean in this short video I recorded for you.  In it, I define Magnetic Distinction, explain why you need it, and share how differentiation has as much (or more) to do with what you need to stop doing than what you are doing.

Once you get it and really embrace Magnetic Distinction for yourself, your perfect clients will see you as the obvious choice for them.

Watch the video (It comes in at 5 minutes 2 seconds long.), and share in the comments what you think.

I’m so fancy / You already know / I’m in the fast lane / From L.A. to Tokyo . . .

How to attract perfect clients when what you sell is common

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toms_shoes

There’s so much noise vying for people’s attention that, for the clients who are perfect for you to find you, “standing out” is really important.  It actually serves them when you do this.

I teach how to do this in the first lesson of the 3-part Client Attraction Series.  It’s called Magnetic Distinction, where you learn to embrace who you are, shamelessly be yourself, and unabashedly share your unique personality with the world.

It’s really about having fun and fully expressing what comes naturally to/for you.  And, because you’re unapologetic, the right peeps for you are drawn to you.  They resonate with who you are, what you’re about, and what you stand for.

This is especially important if what you sell is common. Depending on your industry, you might feel like everyone and their brother does what you do.  Whether you are a yoga teacher, a massage therapist, an acupuncturist, or other healer, likely there are many professionals in your city or town who are in the same profession.

How can you be unique, then?

To help us with this question, let’s take a look at a more tangible product that is unmistakable common:  shoes.  What could be more common than shoes? If you wanted to break into this crowded market, how would you distinguish yourself from the Nikes, the Addidases, the Converses of the world?

As luck would have it, we have an example to help us out, here :-)

You’ve probably heard of TOMS shoes.  They are kinda newbies on the block, having only been around for less than a decade.  Do you know their magnetic story that created massive buzz and massive sales?

You can read the founder’s (Black Mycoskie) story by his own account by clicking here, but basically he went to Argentina, fell in love with a certain style of shoe unique to the area,  and then took the inspiration from the concept and redesigned them for the American market.

While on that trip, Blake noted the compassion he felt for the people in that country he encountered who lived in poverty.

Can you relate to falling in love with something and wanted to do that for living?  Maybe you are a firefighter now because you had a hero in your youth who was a firefighter.  Or, maybe your house or a friend’s house burned down, and you knew being a firefighter who saves lives was your calling.

What is it that you do right now?  Why do you do it?

In Blake’s case, on the surface his reason for creating a business selling shoes appears simply entrepreneurial.  This is a good thing.  What better energy exchange is there than to create value for value?

I think of the real estate agent who enters the profession as a means to provide for her family, or as a path toward securing investment properties.

And, there is always a deeper emotional reason that resonates with who you are as a person.  So, for the real estate agent, maybe she wants to help single mothers discover the joy of home ownership, for example.  Or, maybe she connects with the plight of those who have excellent credit histories, but still cannot come up with the down payment for their first home.

What the example of the firefighter and of the real estate agent have in common is the human need and desire to connect meaningfully to others and to do good work that leaves a living legacy.  Some call this need or desire-in-action “giving back” or “paying it forward.”

In addition, I’d offer that at our core, each of us fundamentally is seeking self-expression of our spirit and of our personality.  Whatever we are doing, we want to express who we are.

This is true whether we are the person selling or the person buying.

And when you do that — dare to boldly express who you are through selling — you stand out to the best and most perfect clients for you…and not to those who are perfect for someone else.  They cannot help but be drawn to you.

But, back to Blake.  How did he marry this shoe concept with his compassion for the poor in Argentina, as a full expression of who he is in the world?

Well, not only did her redesign the Argentine shoe model to create TOMS shoes, he created a sales model where every pair of shoes sold, another pair would be donated to children in Third World Countries, who do not have shoes.

This was brilliant.  Not only did Blake satisfy his entrepreneurial spirit, he also found a way to express his personality and “give back” in a way that resonated with his clients.  This way, Blake gets to do good in the world, and he both created community around his brand and an easy way for that same community to also do good in the world.

And, it worked.  In 2013, TOMS hit the 10 million mark in number of shoes donated.

What an awesome example of integrating customer interactivity in your marketing strategy!  People LOVE contributing to something bigger than they are, and in this case, it didn’t cost them anything more to do so.

Are your wheels turning?

What you offer the world is probably not as common as shoes.  How might you follow Blake’s example so that you stand out from the Nikes and Converses in your industry?

Here are some questions to get you started:

  • What companies or brands do you love and purchase from?  Why do they resonate with you over other brands that sell the same thing?
  • What can you glean from their consistent approach to marketing that you could adapt to your business?
  • What drives you and excites you in terms of interests beyond your profession (but maybe related)?
  • How would you like to give back in the world?
  • What is your personality, and how can you make that prominent in your marketing to magnetically attract your perfect clients?

Anything else?

What comes up for you in this exercise?

 

 

– – –
Flickr image: “9/365,” by Hannah used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

What I did when the Sh** hit the fan and I doubted myself and my business

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old fashioned fanCan I share something personal with you?

This year has been a really tough year for me.  One year ago, my partner of 11 years asked me for a divorce.  It was the second Friday in October 2013.

(Sidebar: Most posts here don’t reference a date because the content is pretty much evergreen.  This one also is evergreen, but I think having context for the story I’m about to tell you is significant, in this case.)

We’ve actually been separated the better part of the last 12 months, and are still going through the (pre-)divorce process.  As you might imagine, the aftermath of that Life-Shattering Earthquake wasn’t pretty…. for me…… or my business, which at best was pretty much hanging on by a thread anyhow.

I was mostly silent during that time.  Almost too silent.

Have you ever doubted yourself and your business?  It takes guts (and support) to keep on keepin’ on when the sh** hits the fan.

And, sometimes you don’t keep on keepin on.

The thing is, we all have (more than?) our share of not-so-pretty stuff going on with us….and we feel like we’re all alone in it.  Things might even look fantastic to everyone around you.  I mean, it’s probably a rarity to share with your clients (for example) that you’re going through a divorce and feel like throwing yourself over a bridge.

(In Portland, Oregon – The City of Bridges — there are plenty of opportunities to contemplate that possibility.)

I’d be lying if I told you everything’s hunky-dory right now, but with help, I’ve come out the other side, and I want to share it with you.

Here in this episode of my colleague, Therese Skelly’s Happy in Business Podcast, I share my story.  Click this link to listen:

http://happyinbusiness.com/tshombe-brown-happy-business-show

I hope it inspires you and lets you know you are not alone and you *can* move through whatever you are dealing with.

Not only that, what you’ll find is that your Darkest Hour can (if you choose) be incorporated into your personal Magnetic Distinction, so that you stand out to your clients as the obvious choice for them.

Listen to the podcast and leave a comment below about what resonated with you!

Why your sales are at their current level (and how to increase your success)

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waterWhether and to what extent a strictly free market economy exists or is wholly desirable is an age-old debate, but clearly for a healthy and voluntary exchange of goods and services to occur, there must be robust sales and selling occurring with regularity.

My wish for you is that “robust” in any economic climate accurately describe your current sales situation, but I’m guessing that isn’t always the case.

We who are in business for ourselves are always looking for ways to hone their craft and to increase the quality and quantity of their sales.  But one thing that is easy to overlook as a factor in determining the our level of sales success is who we have as our peers, friends and colleagues.

I stumbled upon an article (from a now-defunct blog) I’d written about this very thing where I referred to sales trainer and consultant Paul McCord’s brilliant commentary on his blog.  His post of May 2008 was titled From Water Cooler to Pipeline, and in it he asserts that our level of success (or failure) is dependent on whether we are deliberate about the people with whom we associate and surround ourselves.

It’s probably a no-brainer to say that we all tend to gravitate toward those who are most like us.  You’ve probably heard that before, right?

I want to share with you some key points from Paul McCord that you can use right away to improve your sales success, but first I want to say that this whole idea of being influenced by others reminds me of an exercise Dr. Dov Baron introduces in some of his seminars called The Resonance of 5.  The exercise has to do with finances and net worth, but the principle can be used in any area of life, whether it be relationships, political leanings, health and fitness, or some other facet.

What you do is take the five people with whom you spend the most time, take the sum of each of their annual incomes, and divide that sum by 5 to get the average.  When you compare the average with your own annual income, in most cases it will be about the same.

Dov explains that this is analogous to water always finding it’s own level.  We likewise always find our own level.  In all cases, we necessarily rise or fall to the level of our peers.

This is what Paul McCord was getting at in his article.  He explains that most new and average salespeople tend to hang around other new or average salespeople, while the top producers socialize with other top producers.  They think, act, and speak differently and are naturally drawn to those who think, act and speak similarly.

What are the key differences between these groups?

“. . . when the new and average salespeople gather at the water cooler or go to lunch together . . . the majority of the time is spent complaining about how the company doesn’t do this or doesn’t do that; how the sales manager screwed this up or blew that; how bad things are with so much competition, pricing out of the market, late deliveries, products that don’t perform, and all the other excuses salespeople make for not selling.

Those conversations are a far cry from the conversations the top producers have when they go to lunch together. . . the majority of their conversation about business is on exchanging information that will help them sell.  They want no part of the complaints and moaning and groaning.  They won’t allow themselves the luxury of wallowing in misery because they know it only leads to failure—the attitudes and beliefs developed at the water cooler translate directly to the success or failure of the pipeline.”

The good news is that we can absolutely choose our peers with deliberate intent, rather than by default.

It’s not an especially easy road for a new or average salesperson to gain entry into the circle of the top producers.  They are zealous about guarding their association — not because they’re a bunch of arrogant snobs — but because they know how easy it is to slip into negativity, which inevitably leads to average or poor performance…..something they are not willing to risk.

And neither should you…..even if it feels a bit unnatural and uncomfortable (and it will).

Paul’s advice?

“Keep in mind that the top producers can teach you how to become a top producer, whereas the other new and average salespeople can only teach you how to fail.”

If you’re reading this, you likely are a solopreneur or have a small staff or work primarily with other freelancers or solopreneurs, but these principles are the same for us.

So, don’t be discouraged.  Press on.  Pursue the relationships with those who are experiencing the kind of results you desire in sales or whatever area of your life you want to improve.

– – –

By the way, in response to my article, Paul offered some other clarifying “bonus” nuggets that I’d like to share with you here:

“Tshombe,

Thank you for referring to my post.

You’re right, it is difficult and uncomfortable to resist the temptation to hang out with those in the same position you’re in. When we’re new or even if we’re experienced but producing at an average or so level, it seems more natural to hang out with people who face the same issues we face–and what do those big producers have in common with us anyway?

But those producers are doing what we should be doing. And if they’re doing the right things, then we want to be doing what they’re doing. On the other hand, the other folks at our level aren’t doing anything differently than we are–and they’re getting the same results we’re getting? What do they have to teach us?

If you want to be successful, hang out with successful agents, do what successful agents do, learn what successful agents know.

It isn’t comfortable and it is a hard group to break into. One way to break into it is to pick one of the absolute top agents that you really want to develop a relationship with and if you have to, volunteer to help them organize their files or put together their materials for their next mailing or whatever. No matter how many assistants they may have, they’re always needing more hands. Taking an interest in them will encourage them take an interest in you.”

What about you?  Do you intentionally choose your companions, colleagues, and business associates?

If so, what criteria to you use?

How do you go about “breaking in” to their circle, if you’re new?

 

 

– – –

Flickr image by Snap®, under a Creative Commons license

How I calm performance anxiety and you can too

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Naked Man on stage with nothing but his guitarIf you’re in business for yourself or are in sales, you have no doubt felt or experienced performance anxiety at some point in your career.

For some of us, we feel it daily.

When we find ourselves in such situations, performance experts and NLP practitioners offer the advice to “Act as if” we were totally confident, completely assured of the outcome.

In a recent article on this blog, I explain what “Act as if” really means and how anyone can use it to manage their emotional states to increase the likelihood of achieving their desired result.

My intention for today’s post is to offer a real-life, personal example that might further illustrate how to employ this powerful technique because sometimes when we are caught up in the moment with debilitating fear or thoughts of inadequacy, we can forget that we have tools readily available to support us.

So, it was the second day of August 2007 and my partner at the time — the poet and English instructor, Chad Helder — was chosen to “open” for the well-established poet (and teacher), James Hoch.

To be sure, James Hoch is brilliant and writes brilliant, heart-stopping poetry.  What an honor for Chad to be able to open for him!  For the occasion, at 7 pm Pacific Time, Chad had prepared several poems to share with the assembled, some of which he had never publicly read before.

Chad called me on this day to tell me that he was exceedingly nervous.

Can you relate?

It’s the age-old, familiar feeling of stage fright — and along with it the feelings of inadequacy and not-good-enough syndrome.

I offered to Chad what has worked for me.

“What if you think of each of your poems as a gift to the audience?  How would that feel?”

This helps me because I immediately access in my imagination the joy and anticipation I’ve felt in the past when someone was unwrapping a gift I had given them.  I had given great thought and taken great care to find just the right gift that I knew they’d love, and now they were unwrapping it.

This way the focus is off me and instead on them, on how I can serve and bring joy to another.

That suggestion seemed to resonate with Chad.  I could hear relief in his voice.

“You might even say just that to the audience when you are introduced,” I added.  “Something like, ‘I’m so grateful to be here to open for James Hoch tonight, and I want to thank you for the opportunity.  It gives me the opportunity to offer a gift to you.  Each of my poems as I read them and you take them in are as if you are unwrapping and honoring each of my gifts to you.’ ”

“Wow,” Chad said.  “That feels good.  I can right now remember other successful poetry readings I’ve done and access those positive feelings.”

I asked Chad to really savor those feelings and those memories — anchor them, as it were — by asking himself how that feeling looks, tastes, feels, smells, sounds, so that when he approached the stage he would take with him not only his own power but also the consciousness that he is there to share his soul and to offer his thoughtful and loving gifts.

Suppose you were to add a similar exercise to your prep routine before making a sales call?  Or, when preparing to attend a networking event?  Or, before you approach a senior sales coach or business professional you admire to ask for feedback or support?

What memory — complete with all of the sensory data of that experience — can you borrow from the past to empower you in the present moment?

Can you feel how this exercise would absolutely support you in calming “stage fright” or performance anxiety?

– – –
image license: AttributionNoncommercial Some rights reserved by G.I. Folk

How anger can be a useful tool in life and work

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angry boy playing and shaking his headA client and I were discussing how seductive it can be to assign blame for whatever it is we’re experiencing in our life and our business. This seduction extends to even our own emotions and how we tend to talk about them.

Maybe you’ve heard (or even said yourself!) something like, “She made me so angry,” or “Those rambunctious, disrespectful kids make me anxious,” or “I feel worried about whether I’ll have a job tomorrow because the economy is so bad.”

Both the allure and the trap is if our situation or emotions are dependent on the whim of someone or something else, we don’t have any control over anything.

Which also means we don’t have to take responsibility for it, either.

Let’s take Anger, for example.

(Sidebar: Really, we can take any emotion, but heart-centered entrepreneurs usually don’t have a problem feeling “positive” emotions, since they aren’t unpleasant.  They still might believe, however, that their positive state of being is dependent on external people or circumstances…..but, let’s talk Anger, for purposes of this discussion.)

So, another client was telling me that he stopped going to counseling because the therapist kept telling him that he had to stop getting angry, that anger was bad.  This labeling of any emotion as bad is not helpful, since what is repressed eventually gets expressed, whether we like it or not.

How’d you like repressed anger to suddenly rear its head with a client or colleague or potential customer?

I, of course, do not know the context in which my client received the advice, but here actually may have been a reason this therapist offered this judgment about anger.

A few years ago, I was at the gym doing some cardio. I had my headphones on watching Good Morning America on one of the many television screens they have there at the gym.

A story came on about a young man who got into an argument with a woman and became so upset that he pushed her under a bus, whereupon she was killed instantly. Now he’s facing charges of second-degree manslaughter.

Initially I thought that this was a powerful lesson on how important it is to control our anger. Yet, on further consideration, it occurred to me that what happened in this case was not because of anger, but because of the subsequent unacceptable actions.

I am probably not the only one who has witnessed sales professionals, professional business people, and entrepreneurs become blind with anger, spitting senseless epithets or coming to near blows because of some perceived injustice.

Not very inspirational or magnetic, let me tell you!

But, it’s not the anger that’s the problem. Anger, after all, is a very natural emotion.

I am reminded of Adam Kahn’s analysis of whether anger is useful, and he gives a very logical argument in favor of anger — and all of our emotions, really. He offers the point of view that emotions are a natural feedback mechanism. As such, we have little choice whether we feel the emotion (except when we try to repress it).

If you fall and scrape your knee or if you place your hand on hot stove, it isn’t possible to choose not to experience the pain.  Why would we think an emotional wound would be any different?

But, we can choose to pursue healing, rather than rubbing salt in the wound.

For all I know, perhaps the man who shoved the woman under the bus (Can you even believe that?!) may have has a reason to be angry. We’ll never know because he chose to rub salt in the wound over healing salve.

The inspiration is found in the choice to heal.  How can you choose this for yourself?

It may not initially be easy, particularly if you have a history of choosing to let anger express itself unproductively.

But practice makes it easier.

Adam Kahn offers that the “sanest response to anger is to calm down. And then think, . . . [rather than perpetuate] the hateful, angry, self-righteous actions of this world.”

Rather than resist the emotion, notice it. Feel it.

Imagine asking yourself in the moment of feeling this uncomfortable feeling, “What is there in this specific set of circumstances that’s causing me grief that could be inspiring and loving?”

It may sound hokey, but there is always something to love in everyone and everything.   My invitation to you is to assume this is true, especially in these angry moments.

What is absolutely hilarious in this moment?

How can you choose healing salve over rubbing salt deep(er) in the wound?

(Image by Chris Willis, CC BY 2.0)

How to craft an elevator speech that doesn’t sound like a canned script

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The good news about having marketing & sales scripts and templates is you never have to figure out on the spot what to say.  They are also valuable because they are inherently consistent.  You say this thing.  Then, you say the next thing.  And, so on.

 

This consistency makes it infinitely easier to determine what’s working (and what’s not).

elevator front door buttons

 

The bad news about scripts is, well, they sound like scripts.  Like someone is reading to you.  (Which, in many cases, is exactly what someone is doing.)

 

Elevator speeches (or “pitches”) are like that, too.  Hopefully, no one has literally taken out their 3×5 note card and literally read their speech to you!  (Then, again, if they had, maybe it would’ve sounded better LOL)

They sound “canned” at BEST, and at their worst, after you have heard them delivered, you still have no idea what they do, who they do it for, or to whom you can refer them.

 

Sound familiar?

 

I talk about this challenge in the article “Why you keep running into your professional twin,” and today I want to share with you a fresh(er) script for you to try out at your next networking event or when someone asks what you do.

 

Remember:  The purpose of a script or template is to free you up from worrying about what to say or do.  Its value should be to allow you to relax, not to make you seize up or freak out because you aren’t able say it word-for-word.

 

I share this particular template (and personal example) with you to teach you the components that make it (and you) interesting so that — rather than have their eyes glaze over while they are silently creating their exit plan — your potential clients, colleagues, or referral partners will feel motivated to further engage you in a conversation.

 

Remember the components and the reasons they are important.  Getting it “Perfect” is unnecessary and misses the point.

 

And, “Perfect” makes you sound like a recorded message.

 

Here’s the Template:

 

1.  I work with ____________________________________ (specific audience),

2.  who are ______________________________________ (their challenge, preferably one of their most pressing),

3.  to __________________________________________ (what you work with them to accomplish).

4.  ____________________________________________ (what they get when they enlist your services).

Notes:

(#1)  I’ve written before about the importance of choosing a specific target market and how it translates into more and better sales.  You can definitely have more than one target market, but (in most cases) you should speak to/about only one in any single marketing conversation.
(#2) For this to resonate, speak to what your audience has told you is their challenge, rather than assuming you already know.  Though this may sound obvious, it’s not what people typically do.  When you get it right, it’s magical.

 

 

(#3) Be succinct, specific, and make sure it is related to the challenge or problem you identified and articulated in Step #2.

 

 

(#4) Sometimes Steps 3 and 4 can be combined.  The component we want to make sure is present is to share not only the result your client achieves, but also the value of the result.  The value is often introduced or prefaced by “so that”.

 

For example, if you’re a personal trainer or nutritionist, you might help your clients lose 15 pounds in 60 days, let’s say.  That’s the outcome, the result.  BUT, the value of that result is not the weight loss; instead, it’s the life transformation she experiences through enlisting your help.

 

So, in this example, you might say something like “I help women finally lose those stubborn last postpartum inches so that they can finally fit back into their their skinny jeans and feel sexy again.”

 

Here’s a quick personal example of what I might say, using this template:

(#1) I work with yoga teachers who are

(#2) fed up with students coming and going, jumping from teacher to teacher, always looking for the next Groupon or Daily Deal.  With my simple 3-step process,

(#3) I teach them how to stand out as their clients’ obvious choice.  Where else would they want to go?  When they get this in place,

(#4) they get to sell more services, serve more people, and finally get off the hamster wheel of struggle because their income is more consistent.

 

See how simple and powerful this is?

 

Can you see how once you get the template down  and understand the core components, you can be flexible with the  language so that it sounds like you (and not a canned script)?

 

Now, it’s your turn!

Try your hand at crafting YOUR fresh and interesting new introduction in the comments below.  I’m looking forward to learning about who you work with and the transformation your work creates!

 

 

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image by Chelle via morguefile.com