A lot is written about the benefits of clearing your clutter. I run workshops on how you can clear the clutter in your life that is holding you back. That clutter could be in the form of physical clutter in your home or office. It could be the clutter of too many things to do or it could be the emotional clutter of limiting beliefs and judgements. This month Id like to take a look at how we can create space in the way we promote and sell our businesses.
When we pause in the middle of the fast lane of life, we create space to tap into our inspiration. We create space for new ideas and new possibilities to come into being. We create space for love. And in that space we can receive love and feel loved. When we feel truly loved we can do and be anything. We are love.
Too often though we are talking or moving too fast to catch sight of the beauty that is around and within us. I remember attending a seminar with T Harv Eker of the Millionaire Mindset. He described the different ways of being with money: the monk who never talks about money , the saver who would never spend on himself and the spender. Do I need to tell you what the spender does? I am a spender. At the seminar I found myself in the group of spenders, many Italians with their Gucci handbags and briefcases. As T Harv Eker introduced us to the rest of the crowd, we all yelled out wildly and jumped up and down “Yes, we are the spenders ! we joyfully exclaimed at the top of our voices , whilst leaping in the air. And T Harv Eker slowly turned to the rest of the audience and calmly, almost with resignation, explained “And there they go, the spenders, wasting their energy again.”
Something inside of me really heard what he’d said. You see, earlier on, he had explained how “Big Energy = Big Money”. I couldn’t understand at the time how my enormous energy hadn’t yet translated into enormous money. The answer was here. I was wasting my energy. I was using up valuable energy in jumping up and down to promote myself. Just like a child might scream loudly for attention and to feel loved, without realising that he is already loved.
The best businesses are the ones that people seek out because they know that they offer amazing value. The businesses that scream at us ” Come buy our products” can often leave an unpleasant “taste in the mouth”. We suspect that they can’t be that good if they have to shout at us to buy their products. Surely if the product was that good, we would have heard about it without any need for shouting or brash advertising or the pushing of business cards in our face. No, far better is the person who sits quietly, who listens and conserves their energy, confident in their ability to attract the best clientele and the best price for what they offer.
I work with lots of entrepreneurs and sole traders, and I understand how many of us can feel starved of conversation and company during the week. Social media can start to fill the gap and the need for company and to feel loved. A typical day in the office can start on Twitter, end up on Facebook and before you know it, its time for lunch and you haven’t even started on your “to do” list! Of course we justify all this social media activity as a way to promote ourselves and our business. What we are really doing is wasting energy! I’m not saying that there is no place for Social Media. It is a very valuable tool in today’s marketplace. We just need to get clear on why we are using it and how much of our time, and energy, we wish to invest in it.
Similarly I know people who spend their whole week attending networking functions. Its great fun! I used to do it. It beats working any day! You get to meet lots of interesting people. You get to talk about your business and you get to swap business cards. Back home with your stack of business cards, you feel loved. But if you are always out networking and promoting your business, sooner or later people may draw the conclusion that you are desperate for clients. If you were busy, you wouldn’t have the time as a small business to be out networking to the extent that you do.
Now this may not be what all the networks want to hear just now, but think about it. Do you want to be like the celebrity who goes to every party in town? There are certain people that I will not use or recommend, not because I don’t think that they can do a good job. I don’t recommend them or employ them because I don’t understand how they can do the best job for me when they are out networking up to four or five times in one day. They may work til 2am to get the job done but I would prefer to employ someone who looks after themselves and works in a way that conserves their energy.
Create some space in your communications with others. Be the speaker at the networking function. The space between you and the audience can create the desire and pull of attraction. Be exciting and be inspired by what you do, and people will want to buy from you. Don’t waste energy chasing clients. It’s like chasing rabbits, and it’s exhausting. By all means make an announcement. Let people know what you are up to. Share why you are excited about what you do and tell stories of the wonderful ways that you have worked with other clients. But less is more.
In my sales training at Xerox, we were taught to spend the first appointment asking the client all about themselves. As salespeople the most important thing was to listen. We were invited to get curious about our potential clients. Who were they? What were their passions, and their dreams? What did they want for their business and for themselves? We knew that we had done well when we left the first appointment and hadn’t had the opportunity to mention our product once! Now some of you are probably thinking that I’ve really lost it here. “How can I sell my service or product without even telling the customer what it is and how it can help them?”
When a person is listened to, they feel loved. They will like you. They will want to buy from you. They will agree to a follow up meeting. They will be eager to hear about what you offer. They will ask you the questions. And you will be in the space of really being listened to when you finally choose to share what you have to offer.
Understanding your customer and all that is important to them allows you to then talk about your product in a way that will be of interest to them. On a simplistic level, If they have complained about never having enough time, you can demonstrate in your discussion how your service can create more hours in the day for them. What difference would that make to their life? Maybe your client is looking for promotion within the company. Share how your product or service can make them look good and earn ‘brownie points’ with their bosses. By creating the space between you and your client you create an expanded opportunity of doing business with them.
If you are like me, you may need to create space in the way you talk. I am a hugely enthusiastic and passionate person. My excitement can bubble over and take me over. This is reflected in my speech and if I am not careful my words can tumble out, fast and furiously, and I get carried away, sometimes even forgetting that people need to hear what I am saying! If nobody is hearing, because they lost track several sentences earlier, then we are definitely wasting energy!
Notice how the best orators in history use the “pause” to create the best impact. They create space in their speech that allows the audience to register and accept what is being said. I am still practicing! (Do come and see how I’m doing at the Women on their Way event on 27 November at Birmingham) In the meantime, I delight in writing as a way of allowing the words to spill out into the ether.
Thank you for taking the time to read what I have written today.