Show up to give not get
A bit over a week ago, I did a keynote at the Melbourne Executive Assistants’ Group breakfast as part of a trio for ProjectYou.
A major part of my presentation was about showing up to give and not get and what that’s meant for me as a sales professional. And, I must say, it’s a practice that has ramped up of late for lots of reasons..
Anyway, a few days after that I flew to Sydney and sat next to a professional woman on the plane. Now, I usually don’t make eye contact. In fact I avoid it. But this time we started talking, and we didn’t stop. I enjoyed our conversation so much that I left my reading glasses on the plane! Doh!
But as we were talking I couldn’t help but think of some people I wanted to introduce her to. People that could help her expand her consulting practice and where there could be alignment. As I was talking about a former colleague and dear friend who is an executive coach, the magic happened. She said: “I can’t believe this. I was with a client today who needs an executive coach! The timing is perfect.”
Now this is just the beginning of a chain of events that I don’t believe are coincidental.
Because I went looking for ways to give, I ended up introducing this woman to 6 peop9le where I believed there was mutual benefit, and I ended up getting referred into 6 other opportunities from 2 other people in my close network. Not a coincidence. Not direct either.
And that’s the way it works.
Making pivotal decision makers think about you is the first objective to any new meeting, and you do that by giving.
It’s counter-intuitive to the way most salespeople have been trained, but it works faster this way and being referred in at a higher level by people trusted by those decision makers makes any first meeting WAY MORE IMPACTFUL AND MEANINGFUL FOR ALL.
Try it. Let me know how you go – I’ll share your stories. Let’s start a movement.
Most people think that selling is all about getting. The deal. I’ve even heard it called “the kill”.
And of course, it can be.
But for me, the most satisfying working relationships with clients have been the ones where I’ve shown up with an intention to be of real service – to find a way to give them something. To do that, I need to be curious.
If it’s someone I’ve just met, I’m thinking about who in my network would it be beneficial for them to know…how can I introduce them? If it’s a prospective client, I’m looking out for how I can best be of service: what really matters to them personally, then the organization. Is my service right for them right now, or would it be better for all to first address something in order for my business to have the most resonance and lasting value?
And then more recently….I met someone. Not romantically but through my network. He introduced me to someone and he and that man changed my perspective. He’s now introduced me to a total of 4 people and I’ve introduced him to 2. These were people not in my network and I think that’s what made all of the difference.
Meeting people to expand your “ecosystem” requires discipline and it is definitely more about giving than getting. In fact, for it to truly be giving, I insist on doing it with my palms down rather than hands out like a beggar, wanting something in exchange.
I’m meeting with interesting people (all executive-level decision makers by the way), who may or may not want to buy anything from me. They are meeting with me because of the trust they have for my referrer. And I in return, will turn up with curiosity. To understand them and their business. To see how I can be of service. If I go in there to “sell” or “pitch”, I’m missing the point. It’s about opening up the channel of expanded opportunity first. If there is a genuine desire to work with me then we’ll explore that.
Same when I introduce people professionally. My intention is to bring two people together who can benefit from the introduction either now, down the track or inadvertently.
And then other things start to happen.