Chasing that Sale–a Matter of Life or Death?

Those of you who know me know that I’ve recently transitioned from media sales into healthcare, specifically hospice.  After having completed my first week, here’s the most significant observation I’ve made about the people perspective.

My past 25+ years in media sales have been spent in a highly charged, intensely competitive environment.   The pressure at times was presented to us as if it were the most important thing you could imagine.  Win this one or risk the consequences.  Oftentimes, one felt that their job was hanging in the balance as a result of a particular pending sale.

There was more than a time or two where I’d describe the perspective of the involved parties as though this pending sale was a matter of life or death. 

Now I am surrounded by professionals whose efforts actually do result in life or death consequences.   And I’ve observed that these people are far calmer and more controlled than the aforementioned group.  The irony of that is comforting.  Wouldn’t you want to be surrounded by calm people if your life were in their hands?

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5 Ways you can grow your network with connections of value

Exactly how do you turn a casual encounter into a connection of value?  Do you:

Listen more than you speak.  When you meet someone new, make it your goal to learn more about them than they learn about you.  Get to know them personally.  It can start with simple things like where are you from, where did you meet your spouse, how many children do you have.    If you are truly interested in the answers, the next step should come naturally.

Ask sincere questions.   What brought you into this industry?  What unique traits do you possess that make you most effective in this line of work?   What can I do to help you? 

Be enthusiastic.  Passion, excitement, whatever you want to call it, enthusiasm is contagious.  People will want to be around you if you have this. 

Be real.   Nobody likes fake, and you won’t fool anyone with that strategy.  The more real you are with others, the more real they will be inclined to be with you.

Be open.  Human nature is reciprocal.  If you share with others, they will more likely share with you.  I always consider a lack of trustworthiness in another who shows that they do not trust me.  It’s a red flag if I’ve done nothing to earn that mistrust.

5 Things you can do to increase your digital visibility

For those of you who’ve followed my career transition, you know that I implemented a lot of suggestions from a wide network of support.  Here are some of those activities for you to try:

Do an email campaign to your personal and professional contacts.  Include family, fellow PTA members, former colleagues, someone you met only once but their synapses seemed to be intact.  Update this list throughout your networking process as your network expands.

Tell them exactly what you are seeking, what type of position, what industry sector, and name a couple of companies so they are exactly clear on your goals.  Maybe they know someone at those companies or it strikes a chord they know someone at the competition.

Communicate consistently with this group of people.  They might not read every email, but it only takes one hit when it’s the right one.

Don’t be subtle.  People will not intuit what you are seeking.  You need to spell it out clearly.  You must do the thinking for them.

Don’t ever waste time trying to be perfect, whether writing the perfect email, establishing the perfect goals.  Waste of time.  Just keep moving forward.  People gobble your effort; perfection is a turnoff.

My next post will tell you how this worked for me in ways I never expected.

Be memorable by showing others you remember them

Today I bumped into a former co-worker who was with his wife who I once met briefly.  However, I do make an effort to remember names and personal details.  Life’s nicer that way.

I asked his wife if her daugther had recently joined a particular youth group, indicating to her that I not only remembered her, but  that she had a daughter the same age as my daughter.  I knew there was a likelihood they had both just joined branches of the same youth group.  Could be my imagination, but I could see her body language instantly warm to me as we were moms making a connection.  Mom to mom connections are pretty personal.

There’s no substitute for personal connections.  It’s been said people don’t care what you know until they know you care. 

Give the gift of letting someone know you remember them; even better if you remember something personal about them.   The gift will be yours in return.