Sunday, March 11, 2012
Sharpen Your Skills to Seize New Opportunities
This roller coaster economy we have been on over these last few years has taught us one thing. You need to focus on ways to sharpen your skills in order to seize opportunities. The way we did business and certainly the way we attract business has changed.
It is true that these last few years have presented numerous challenges for us all. Especially those of us who own a small business. However, it is also true that these new and ever changing times has also provided us with opportunities we never dreamed possible. In order to be a successful professional today we need to focus on a strategy, a winning strategy.
One of my winning strategies has always been to build relationships through networking. Networking has played a major role in building successful relationships for me and I can attribute much of my former sales success and current client volume to it. It just always made so much sense to me. Attending the right networking event meant that someone else did all the work to put together a large group of people for me to meet and develop a connection with. It always came easy to me. I was comfortable with it.
However, many are not as comfortable. Some people have much smaller comfort zones when it comes to prospecting for new business. A large number of salespeople and small business owners are often creatures of comfort. They find safety in their same circles of contacts. Many are fearful of what they will hear if they step outside of that circle. But I am here to tell you not to be afraid! That reaching out to unknown and untapped prospects offers potential for great new success.
The only thing to fear, is fear itself. Fear is the primary force that holds most people back from getting outside whatever comfort zone they have. And in most cases, it is the fear of rejection that stands in the way. That fear of rejection often becomes so strong that a new and often unconscious mindset forms to make sure we avoid situations in which a potential of rejection or failure is possible. This is extremely limiting; a filter is created and numerous people and groups become out of reach.
So if you are happy with the business you have today and see no reason to meet new people and expand your reach; I have good news for you! You can stop reading now.
However, if you realize that some of the things you want most are laying just outside of your comfort zone, then let's continue.
So remember when I said, that in creating that limiting mindset you were avoiding an entire group of people? Well, who are these people you haven't met? How will you identify them and make contact?
Here are some new skills to sharpen in order to seize new opportunities:
First its time for a little Q & A. Ask yourself these important questions in order to pick your target.
1. What problems or needs does my product or service offer solutions for?
2. Who or what organizations can benefit from that the most? (include demographics like age, gender, income, etc.)
Focusing on the problems you solve is critical. All sales solutions are problem solvers. It is important that you identify prospects based on their needs and wants. Think outside the box and be open minded when considering new prospects. Be careful not to filter people out too quickly too. Especially, when you consider the people you already know. Remember, they will want to do business with you because of the solution you offer.
Walking among them means that you spend time with them. Choose to attend the networking events that will put the prospects you want to do business with right in front of you. Take advantage of or create opportunities that will allow for direct interaction with your target audience. Your homework time is important, but not as important as face time. This includes the events the groups hold too. So if your target audience is the insurance industry, it is not enough to look for them at a networking mixer at the Chamber, you need to support their events and functions as well.
The last tip I have for you today is to show them what you know. Convey to your prospect that you understand them and that you recognize their unique needs. Position yourself as an expert, an informed resource. This will give you credibility and powerful leverage when it comes to writing the business.
Success in business today depends on a lot of factors. Some of which are out of your control, except for one. And that is you!
Anna Gibbs is a certified Business Coach and Certified Life Coach. For more information about Anna and her coaching services please visit www.annagibbs.net