Have you ever thought about some of the guiding principles that aid in our success or failure in our business lives? I saw an article recently that made me think about what my Mantra’s might be on why we “win or lose”. The article was by Maurice FitzGerald titled “Big deal win-loss analysis – Here is a method that works”
The message I took away was…
Sales people will tell you that if they win a deal it is because of relationships and if they lose a deal it is because of price. In truth, you either win or lose for the same reason…relationship
Armed with this thought I tried to summarize 5 Mantra’s related to building strong relationships and the importance of your personal brand.
People do business with people
No matter how sophisticated the technology…the products…the services…nothing earns more credibility than YOU being YOU and taking time to show a genuine interest in others. Spend more time asking questions to get to know someone (as a person) than you do talking about yourself.
The world belongs to those who have the courage to show up. Showing up isn’t just about being physically present it is also about being emotionally present and bringing your “A” game at all times!
- How we show up
- How often we show up
- Who we are when we show up
Everyone we interact with is busy…they meet a lot of people just like you… that day…that week…that month. If we are being honest….most times our message…our products…our services aren’t remarkably different from the other people that showed up before us…or after us. How clients or partners choose to spend their time…their money…and their energy has a lot more to do with YOU and how YOU make a difference.
Your personal brand means everything
This is not only who you are in that moment… with that one person you are hoping to impress…but…it is with EVERYONE you interact with. It is also about your on-line brand…what you post…where you post…how often you post and whose posts you are paying attention to.
It seems obvious in today’s world but you should spend time…
- thinking about your on-line brand
- choosing what social media applications you will (or will not) participate in (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube etc…)
- making conscience choices about which ones you are focusing on professionally versus personally (all the while knowing that the two are never truly separate)
- understanding how you will allocate your time to each application
- building up your brand and maintaining it
- ensuring that you are consistent with your brand at all times (frequency & types of posts)
It isn’t JUST about what you choose to say or do…it’s as much about what you CHOOSE NOT to say or do.
Here are some examples (there are a ton more I know):
- if you are focused on strong leadership qualities and positive messages steer away from posting an angry diatribe on a former company or boss (especially if your emotions are running high in that moment)
- make a point to post objective articles that showcase a wide perspective of your industry not just the positive messages that are specific to YOUR company. This demonstrates your personal interest in that area of expertise not just pandering to the company you work for
- be purposeful and conscience of postings or interactions related to topics like politics (I’m sure there are others you can think of). It’s not that you shouldn’t be you…it’s that your social network isn’t necessarily the best place to vent grievances or frustration that may alienate you from those who don’t know you that well or share your point of view
- if there are causes or topics that are near and dear to your heart (for me it is Make A Wish Arizona and giving back in general) don’t be afraid to show another side of yourself so people can get to know you…just be aware that these too have limits and appropriateness depending on how you are positioning your personal brand
- be very careful and cautious of pictures or videos you post (especially when you think it is just for personal use – there is no such thing). Having said that, pictures and videos can help build your brand (think of Instagram or YouTube Influencers who have thousands of followers). People like to get to know you and see how you are doing
Out of Sight Out of Mind
There are a lot of people who also make the conscience choice not to participate in social media or building their on-line brand. The thought of putting themselves out there is just too overwhelming…it’s too risky…it’s too much work…or they just don’t see the value. All the latest research will tell you that people do most of their research on-line before ever making a buying decision…..this includes the person selling to them…and…that’s YOU.
If you truly want to be a trusted adviser…an influencer and be viewed as someone that someone else would do business with you need to participate! It’s about:
- the content you are posting – is it valuable, helpful, inspiring, does it make them think, grow or learn?
- the people and companies you are interacting with…what you like…what you share…who you tag…who you are sharing…who you follow…are they credible and reliable?
- the frequency of your content…are you top of mind and showing up for them regularly?
- the ways in which you further THEIR messages and brand…do you repost…like…follow…or champion THEIR content….company…or message to enhance THEIR on-line presence?
My opinion is that anyone who has made the choice NOT to participate will come to the realization on their own when it’s too late. The time to start participating is while you have strong relationships….when you don’t need anything or when you are not looking for your next job. If you do it right and build your brand on-line consistently…even if time has passed since you interacted with someone…it will still feel like you are connected…like you are keeping up with one another…and that they feel they know you. It can be a lot of fun and should be done with genuine interest and with an open heart. That way…when you DO need something…people will feel like YOU are the person they want to do business with.
Leadership questions of the week for YOU:
- What were your key takeaways from the Maurice FitzGerald article and do you agree that we win or lose based on relationships?
- What are your two to three observations or comments on the 5 Mantras?
- What are YOUR Mantra’s for building relationships?
- How important is your on-line brand to YOU and what lessons learned can YOU share on how it has helped or hindered YOU?
- Do you agree that NOT participating in your on-line brand can have more consequences than you realize?
Thanks for reading and remember….YOU make a difference!
Please continue the conversation by liking…commenting or sharing this article. You can also follow me on twitter @marciedwhite