Leadership, Sales Strategy, Networking, LinkedIn, Public Speaking
The idea struck me like a thunderbolt. Ever had one of those learning moments? That moment when you feel the tumblers of the lock fall into place and the vault door is now open. You've been reading and studying and pushing to develop yourself and the light comes on, you "get it." I'm studying sales and the networking component shows up. I'm studying networking and public speaking gets mentioned. I'm studying public speaking and leadership is mentioned. I study leadership and I start to see "thought leader" and positioning on LinkedIn.
If you have done any kind of personal development (Dale Carnegie, Darren Hardy) then you have seen The Wheel Of Life and while they all have different "spoke" titles they all focus on 8 or so aspects of a persons life and the concept is simple. You want the spokes to all be developed and you want to be closer to 10 than to 1. What most people find is, their wheel is uneven. Maybe family is a 9 but your money is 5. Maybe every spoke on the wheel is only a 3 or a 4. I want to advocate some of the people I have learned from this past year. I also hope you see how each of these components can impact and develop the others.
I just finished a fantastic book by Robin Sharma called "The Leader Who Had No Title." For the longest time, I felt like "wow, if someone would just give me a chance to be a leader, I would do a great job." Sometimes that happens. The reality is, you need to conduct yourself as a leader and you need to seek true leaders to learn from and develop further. This component plays a critical role in sales.
A big key to being a great leader is being a great listener. Stephen Covey talks at great length about "listening to understand" where most people simply listen to respond. In his book "The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People" Mr. Covey gives great insight and detail to how and why we do things and the steps we can take to be better. In sales, it is about solving a customer problem and not about selling a product. When you learn to, listen to understand your sales skills, naturally improve.
I am a huge fan of Jeffrey Gitomer and I read several of his books last year. He even wrote a book specifically on networking and how important it is to sales success. Effective networking comes down to, having an objective ( how many people to meet) and listening to understand (ask questions to get them talking). Get their card, do something that makes you memorable (in a positive way) and follow up with every single person. One of the best ways to follow up?
ABC "Always Be Connecting." After every event, after every meeting, follow up and connect with those people. Job fair? Connect. Business Expo? Connect. Coworkers? Connect. Then once you connect, nurture and develop those contacts, share relevant content. Share VALUABLE content, ask engaging questions. Interact with your connections. Most importantly, help people with absolutely no expectation of getting something back. Build your credibility.
It all comes down to the words you choose and how you delivery them. I joinedToastmasters in 2014, because I wanted to become a great speaker. It flows into all the other pieces we discussed. Think about great leaders. They are great speakers. Think about great salespeople. They have confidence and deliver their message in a way that is easy to understand and resonates with you the customer. A great networker, knows what to say and when to say it. The best public speakers work their words out ahead of time (often by writing them down). Engagement on LinkedIn is fueled by a confidence and command of language.
WHERE IS YOUR TIRE FLAT?
Take that next step. Look at these sections and ask yourself "where can I improve?" If you are reading this and think "oh, well that doesn't apply to me because _______"
Think again. Each of these pieces connect and you can use all of them to achieve your personal brand of success. What other aspects would you suggest? Do you have any great stories to share? Share them hear. Do you have questions? Ask them here. I am certain, if you have questions, so do other readers.
Want to know more? Contact me directly firstname.lastname@example.org or www.mikeshelah.com or 443-808-1670
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