Most folks would put the word “sale” in the title of this post. That’s because most women (and men) in business chase the next sale.
It’s especially true for women in micro-business because many such businesses are associated with direct sales or multi-level marketing companies. Nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is the myth that we must chase the sale rather than the relationship.
I can hear the mumbling in the background as I’ve been harping on build the relationship since I discovered social media and had the audacity to post my first blog. Although I’m no longer the lone voice crying in the wilderness; the truth is most folks give lip service to the phrase rather than actual belief followed by performance!
If blame is to be placed, I would put it on the training delivered by most direct sales/MLM companies. And of course, our upline support systems are going to go with the company line because more sales drives their bottom lines as well as our own.
Now don’t get me wrong – sales are exceedingly important. But how we get them is equally important – if not more so than getting them in the 1st place. I can make a sale and hope it will be repeated 30, 60, 100 days henceforth – or I can make a friend, build a mutually trusting relationship and never make a sale while gaining much more in the long run. Yes, you hear me right!
I can make a friend, build a mutually trusting relationship and never make a sale while gaining much more in the long run! TWEET THIS
I can chase the sale – or I can chase the qualified referrals that come from longstanding, trusted relationships that occur once I take time to build them. My friend may buy from me; but then again, she may not. However, when she continually feeds me folks she knows well and trusts explicitly – then I’ve gained much more than one or two sales cycles which require me to keep traveling the networking road. I call it net-shop till I drop!
Here’s the challenge. I know that qualified referrals (not leads, but referrals and there is a difference) will net me more in the long run. But there’s my sponsor, investor or both who chew on me to get that next sale. Because the next sale may put her over the top for the next promotion.
So it’s as much about her as it is about me building my business on solid ground that will last a lifetime when I tend it well!
It’s about how we view the process of business building. Do we honor the person in front of us as a woman worth knowing and knowing well? Or is she simply the means to an end spelled P.O.S. (point of sale)?
If we value people then we’ll opt for the relationship process and not complain when it doesn’t net us a sale – now or within the next 12 months or so. If it feeds us in other ways, then it has value beyond even a qualified referral.
But then again – have we asked for the qualified referral? Most likely if we’re chasing the next sale; we haven’t even thought of gaining one, two or more referrals well qualified by our new friends. Well qualified because they are known to the referrer who knows us and our business almost as well as we do!
Here’s some tips on chasing friendships instead of the P.O.S.:
1. STOP – Stop mentally viewing the next sale. Instead mentally prepare and picture the next highly qualified referral you want to receive from the budding business and personal friendships you’re forming from networking experiences. What does he/she look like? What does he/she do? How will you want your friend to introduce you? What will you say when you meet the referral for the 1st time? Let those images travel with you the next time you sit with your friend over coffee, lunch or late afternoon cocktail.
2. LOOK – Look carefully at what you want from your new friendships. Not only at what you want, but who you want. Make no apologies for telling your friend(s) you’d like them to consider making qualified referrals for you once the relationship is well-established. Most importantly, be sure to make it reciprocal. You must be willing to do the same so that the relationship has balance in terms of what each can expect to receive from a business perspective.
Equally important – in fact, critically important is for you to know your business forwards, backwards and inside out. Know who your target market is. Define a composite description of the ideal prospect. Post an image of him or her on your office wall and memorize every detail. Know what you unique selling proposition is (USP) and how you differ from the competition. Do you have a niche? If so, what is it.
In other words, know your business so well you can articulate it in your sleep. And do it so succinctly that your new friends can learn to do so as well!
3. LISTEN – Listen to what your friends are saying. All too often while others are speaking, we’re mentally preparing the next words out of our mouths. Thus we don’t hear what is being said. We miss the nuances of vocal tone and inclinations. We miss the subtleties thus missing the point hidden beneath the point. And usually that is the real point of the words! So our responses fall somewhat (and somewhere) short of the mark.
Learn to remain quiet and let your friend(s) speak. And ask questions rather than make statements. Questions will draw them out more and more. Statements often come across as edicts to be followed or not – and can make or break new and still-tender relationships upon which trust is still a bit squishy! And in the quiet you will learn what they truly value, what is intrinsically important to them and where you may or may not fit into their spheres of influence as well as their life perspectives.
Hum, important stuff! I don’t usually say that about what I write, but this time I know it’s important stuff. Important because instead of chasing the tail called “next sale”; we’ll be sitting quietly over coffee, meal or a glass of fine wine getting to know another person who just may hold the key to the biggest and best business experience we never imaged possible!
Now doesn’t that sound like a winning combination? I think so. . .
Linda S. Fitzgerald, CEO & Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Empowering Women to Thrive
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://affiliatedwomeninternational.com//wp-content/uploads/2015/05/linda-google-NB-profile-pic.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]I have a ‘fiery’ passion to see women become all they are designed to be – personally, professionally and most of all – spiritually. I write, teach, mentor and coach with that passion in mind. As an author and prolific blogger, I reach out to women in all walks of life, especially women of faith to empower and equip them for greatness. [/author_info] [/author]
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