Be a "HOT" Catch for Business Associates...
Don’t you hear it all the time? Is chivalry going out of the door? Does anyone offer common courtesy anymore? Do people care about formalities these days? And if you are one of those people who do care, do you practice what you preach?
When it comes to your business partners, I DON’T ADVISE DATING THEM ROMANTICALLY LOL. You are asking for a world of trouble if you do. BUT, as you attempt to build your business and formulate new BUSINESS relationships, I urge you to pay close attention to your own actions while you critique those of others. HUMILITY and SOFT SKILLS go a long way in business. However, with the onslaught of technology, hard and fast instant messaging, emails, and conversation by any means other than actual voice, we sometimes forget to check ourselves and our egos as we strive to do business.
As an entrepreneur, leave the “Big Head” at home.
So...picture yourself sitting at the dinner table, waiting for your blind date to arrive. You’re on edge, and you are fully alert. When your date arrives, you begin inspecting them from head to toe. When they begin to talk, you listen intently to every word they speak. You are "interviewing" them for the future, whether you want to admit it or not!
It's not much different with business...
Arrogance is a huge turn off when it comes to formulating a business relationship with anyone. For your first meeting, make sure that you have prepared for various conversational topics. You should not intentionally set out to dominate any conversation that you plan to have with a potential client or business partner. However, you can definitely "steer" any conversation based on major points that you have identified for your first meeting with anyone. Whether it’s a person that you are selling a product or service to, or a business partner that you are seeking to work with, big egos can impede progress. Keep that closely checked. The last thing people want to hear is, “I’m this, and I’m that…” or “I’m doing this, and I’m doing that, and then some more…”
Here is the reason why: If you are already doing everything, then why are we meeting??? There is no room for me in a world where, apparently, I am not needed. Sometimes, entrepreneurs are tempted to shamelessly toot their own horns because they think this impresses potential clients or business partners. But think again. This behavior is not attractive to other hard-working individuals who have important things to do as well. And if you as an entrepreneur only impress individuals who have nothing to contribute except blind admiration, then how can you become better than what you already are? Discuss real topics and achievements during your business meetings. And also, listen to the achievements of your potential business associates as well. This will set you up to accomplish marvelous things in the future with folks who will help your business grow and thrive in the midst of change and innovation.
When egos are toned down, and authentic growth and innovation is discussed by both sides of a transaction with different points of view, GREAT THINGS HAPPEN!
Tone: Are you using your “sexy” voice, “fake” voice, or “real” voice?
Salacious seduction or phony facades! BEWARE! These are always red flags to new customers and business partners. In most cases, people can tell when they are being oversold or faked out!
Okay, so let me bring you back to that dinner table in the restaurant. Remember that blind date I mentioned earlier? So you meet them, and they exude cool confidence, NOT ARROGANCE...just the way you like it. So now, the conversation thickens.
Have you noticed how some people go into this weird mode of operation while they put on a low provocative voice, or maybe some odd seductive fake accent to cover up who they really are?
Yeppers. The same thing happens in business. People will often try to beguile those they are seeking to squander out of money, products, or services. When you enter any business transaction, try to enter the working relationship with only your best intentions in mind and at heart. BUT...DON’T DO THIS BLINDLY OR HAPHAZARDLY. Although you will be bringing your best intentions forward, you will also need to monitor whether or not the customer or potential business partner is doing the same thing. If you are a customer, it doesn’t hurt for you to ask a service or product provider for a rundown of whatever it is they offer. If you are considering entering a business relationship with someone, ask them for their credentials and solid history of professional service. And whether you are doing the asking or the answering, by all means, BE “REAL” AND AUTHENTIC IN YOUR DELIVERY. Ultimately, this will pay off. You will also learn in some cases that you simply cannot fulfill the needs of everyone. It is impossible for you to work with everyone who approaches you. Use the power of DISCERNMENT and INTUITION. You only have yourself to blame later if you ignore these very basic instincts.
Your goals are great. Mine are too…SO LISTEN.
So you and your blind date seem to be hitting it off! The conversation is spectacular. They smile, have a sense of humor, and seem to be giving you some much needed “realness” on the dating scene. You two have been conversing in the warm, dark restaurant for almost two hours. So now it’s time to answer a few mind-probing questions, like, “What do you want out of life? And how does that line up with my goals and aspirations?”
On the business tip, this translates to, “How do you plan on meeting the mission and purposes of your business? And how does what you plan to do help my business?”
This is when things begin to get really interesting! It is the time when you realize that you have found this great new client or business partner who will challenge and propel the success of your joint venture. Or, it is the moment you realize very early on that you cannot successfully work with this potential client or customer. Call it quits while it is still early!
When one person in the business transaction has goals that overshadow those of the other person involved, the relationship is bound to suffer. If one person believes that it is his way or the highway, and no concessions are made to figure out how the other person’s goals will complement his own, then the relationship will not last! Period!
If you really want to work with someone, then take the time to get to learn more about them and their business model. If people want to work with you, then make sure that they complement your business rhythm and goals for continued success or expansion over time.
Do We Need a Pre-Nup?
You’re off to a beautiful relationship, but don’t get too excited. All relationships should have defined terms. Before you get that marriage license, make sure you know what you’re getting into. Also, you might want to think about having a pre-nup in place if you have cold feet about "putting a ring on it."
In business, we call this a BUSINESS CONTRACT.
You know that you are entertaining "real" business relationships when individuals and organizations are willing to execute contractual documents with you. So DON’T BE AFRAID OF DOCUMENTATION. If you plan on doing business with people, then be prepared to draft up business documentation for them as well.
If you are faced with informal business arrangements, essentially promises built on words during conversations or arrangements coordinated via fly-by-night emails, AND YOU ACCEPT THEM, then don’t be alarmed when something doesn’t happen as expected. However, if you adequately scrutinize and appropriately question every business opportunity you have at your disposal, AND ASK FOR THE PAPERS that go along with them, you will quickly be able filter which business relationships are right for you. Do not commit yourself to anything that is not built on a solid foundation!
I hope this blog post helps you to re-evaluate all of your business relationships going forward. I’m on a mission to usher in some old fashion chivalry when it comes to all of my business relationships. And I hope that you are too! Follow me as you continue to work your magic with your business ventures!
As Always, my best!
Go Get’em Go-Getters!