Communication is a critical factor in building professional relationships. So often misunderstandings and mis-connections arise around communication. Learn some of the critical factors that can make or break a connection in an instant. Following is a list of five reasons you are losing business (of course, there are other reasons that may need to be addressed):
1. You are talking too much.
I have often attended networking meetings and found myself stuck with someone who has too much to say. How about you? Then we become antsy, look over our shoulder, and silently wonder, “How much longer is this going to take?” You clearly do not want to be the person having that effect on people. Yet so many entrepreneurs do exactly that. If you want to build your business, approach these opportunities with the intention to listen. You have no way of knowing if you can help someone if you are too busy talking AT them. During your next event, try to be the person in the room who says the least, listens most and asks the most questions. Your increased business will thank you.
2. You have the wrong attitude.
Sometimes we approach networking meetings from the wrong standpoint. We sometimes consider these events as opportunities to socialize. Or we may see them as dreadfully mandatory work events and we would rather be home doing almost anything else. Neither of these approaches will yield the business results we are looking. The next time you have a networking event on your calendar, set an intention before you arrive to attract two to five interesting and interested people that you will spend your time with. Then, even if you do not find your potential ideal clients, you will have at least created powerful connections that are mutually fulfilling and satisfying. It is much more likely that you will be remembered in a positive light, and that you will receive business referrals as a consequence.
3. You are not grounded.
Have you ever noticed people at events who have a frenetic energy about them? They may seem exciting at first; however, in the end they are a ball of stress and rapidly wear you out. Before you enter a room, check in with yourself to be sure that you are grounded, centered, and calm. Building a business is all about being attractive, magnetic, and charismatic. It is impossible to be those things if you are tired, frazzled, and stressed out. Pull yourself together before you walk into the room and your business will thank you.
4. You have not identified why you are special.
I have often found this to be the biggest reason why people do not have more clients. You have an identity crisis because you are not sure why you are special, hot, different, or better than your competition. Without knowing that knowledge, you are operating at half strength. It is critical that you uncover your awesomeness, your unique abilities and talents that you were born with. Prior to your next event, be sure you can powerfully answer the question: “Why should I hire you over your competitor who is less expensive?”
5. You are all over the place.
Have you ever met an entrepreneur who has three or four different parts to her business? For example, she is a broker who does event planning as well as network marketing on the side. I am fairly certain that she is not making as much money as she could, as I frequently speak to these types. It is usually unwise to be diversified. It can be confusing and you are driving away your potential clients. If you are not focused and clear, then it is difficult to know exactly what you do and what problems you solve. So pick one business, go deep with it, shine brightly and I guarantee you will make more money.
Unfortunately, I have made all of the above errors except for No. 1 (although I have been on the receiving end many times). I think that the biggest mistake I made at events was jumping to conclusions from an initial first impression. First impressions can sometimes be deceiving because we are living in an era where there are a wide range acceptable of styles and dress codes. For example, I recall attended a gathering for entrepreneurs where I learned that a man dressed in a t-shirt and old jeans ran a mult-million dollar company. And I had not given him the time of day.