One of the many things I do to build my business is network, and like any other business, I rely heavily on my ability to convince others to want what I have to offer. I have often said that no one cares what you sell until they know why you do what you do. I also think there is more to building a business than storytelling. It’s also about getting to know the people you engage with daily.
Last week, I met a gal that does personal branding. What makes this entrepreneur unique is that she claims she can use the natal birth chart to determine each person’s branding down to the color and type of font you should use on your website. I found this topic interesting, and the more I listened to her speak, the more I was intrigued. I wanted to know more about her and her subject.
Whether any of us chose to believe in natal birth charts or zodiac signs are beside the point. What I gathered from meeting with this lady solidified my thoughts surrounding the idea of being relational versus transactional. What does that mean? Are you relational or are you transactional? Let’s dive into this.
When I think of being relational, I think of the art of getting to know someone. In my business, my job is to get to know my prospects, my customers, and those I work with daily. That means I have to learn about each of the people that I am dealing with on some level other than just their name. I have to find out about their family life, their hobbies, their occupation, their goals, and their dreams. If it’s a business prospect, I may inquire about their why. What is their reason for selling that particular product? My goal is to learn everything I can about them as long as they are willing to share.
For many of the years that I have been in business, I have operated from a transactional mindset. Being relational didn’t always come easy to me. I work on this continually. It’s not necessarily always a negative thing being transactional. Sometimes it’s beneficial to remind yourself that you need to get to the results. If you are in a profession like many where you need to close something like a sale, then it can serve you well in some ways. You have the mindset that you need to make things happen, and therefore, you will subconsciously direct your activities to whatever you are thinking. If you are aways only relational, then you may never close. You have to have balance.
However, when we become so laser-focused on the result and all we do is think in terms of transactions, It takes away from the focus of the person we are engaging. It then becomes a one-sided position to sell what we are offering. That doesn’t always go well. People do not like to be sold. They want to be heard, and it’s our job to find out where we can fill a need for them.
Mary Kay Ash once said, pretend every person you meet has a sign around their neck that says, “make me feel important.” Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.
I like to follow an acronym I once heard from a colleague called, FROG and this is how I remember it.
When I meet someone, whether, in business or other relations, my goal is to find out as much information I can by using this acronym. In doing this, I get to know the person I am talking to better as well as it gives me a perfect opportunity to see how I can serve them. I don’t always know that I will be able to help someone directly or even at that moment. However, I do believe there is still something to be gained by engaging with someone, and most often, when we look for the silver lining, we can find a mutual benefit. Perhaps they refer you or send you a referral. Maybe someday they are in a position where your product or service fits a need, and because you cared early on, they remember you and call you. Maybe they need a friend, or perhaps you need one.
The gal I referenced in the opening of this blog did a great job at being relational when we first met at a networking event. Otherwise, I would have never agreed to sit down and listen to what she had to offer. She asked me enough questions to intrigue me to want to connect with her and learn more.
People want to feel important and whether you are serving on a board, coaching children, working in sales, or managing your household, the best way to get people to engage and subscribe to your thoughts, ideas, or products, is to become relational with them. Get to know them. Ask them questions. Get them involved. Find out what’s important them. Find out why they do what they do and see if you can fill a void. If we spend more time asking questions and listening, we can learn everything we need to know about how to serve someone else. The beautiful thing is, when we help others, we are rewarded immensely in all areas of our lives.
Be kind to one another and be the best version of you that you can be!