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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How to Build Business Quickly

Do you know the single best way to quickly build business? 

The single best way to build business quickly is to ask questions of those who have gone before you. The term used for these folks is “mentor”. A mentor comes in all forms and it is up to you to recognize and seize each opportunity as it arises. 

Most likely, your parents were your first mentors. Did they teach you the importance of “please” and “thank you”? Did you know if you write a “thank you” note to each of your clients you will be ahead of 95% of your competition? Were you also taught “If you do not have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” and “Do not discuss politics or religion”? 

I have witnessed salespeople disregard these golden rules only to be tossed out of the intended accounts. In fact, I took a public relations class and the instructor, of all people, spoke badly of his competition. I have heard salespeople argue with their clients on a myriad of subjects including politics. If only these businesspeople had listened to their original mentors’ advice. 

Are you part of a sales team? Seek out the top producer and ask what he or she did differently to get to the top. Do you have friends in your industry or complementary industries? Ask what has worked best for them. You, too, will become a top producer. 

For many years, athletes have used private coaches to improve their game, and now the concept has come into the mainstream business environment. Very common today is the use of business coaches. A good coach will guide you from where you are today to the heights you wish to achieve by adding clarity and vision and offering ideas of which you had never considered. 

Why does mentoring work so well? You are able to take advantage of the knowledge others have accumulated over the years. It greatly diminishes the time factor in learning and perfecting new skills. 

For example, I attended a business expo where I met a woman who was a professional coach. She took me under her wing for 5 minutes. This coach gave me excellent advice for expanding my business and enough ideas for what I thought would last a year. The Power of Suggestion led me on the right track and I accomplished the tasks in a mere 6 weeks. Sometimes having someone on your side championing you is all you need for greater success than you ever imagined. 

Equally important to using mentors is to be open to new ideas. Use each meeting as a brainstorming session. Discard the ideas with which you are not comfortable and act immediately on the ones that appeal to you. Don’t pass opportunities up or tell yourself, “I’ll get to it later.” Later generally doesn’t come and the offers are withdrawn. 

Let me illustrate this point. I attended another convention where an amazing opportunity to be interviewed on television was offered to all participants. Furthermore, each person interviewed would receive a professionally edited version in the form of a link with streaming video for their website. This service was donated with absolutely no cost to those being interviewed. Thousands of people were in attendance but sadly, only six of us grabbed the opportunity.
One other behavior that will catapult your business success is to use mentors from afar by observing others in business. Carefully look and listen to their actions and words. Consider what you like most and what you do not like at all. Adapt to your style the course of actions you like and make them your own. 

And when you do act, be passionate about your work. Your excitement and energy will come through the phone wires and across to prospects. The old adage is “People buy from people they like”. Smiling and being enthusiastic will attract prospects and clients to you. They will want to give you their business. 

Even your prospects and clients will become your mentors. By asking prospects questions such as, “What are your criteria for making decisions?”, “Is there a special structure you prefer for proposal writing?” or “What information do you need to consider a new vendor?” 

As you allow prospects and clients to become your mentors a strange thing will happen. They will regard you as the one vendor who takes an active interest in their business and in themselves. They will come to rely on you and begin giving you repeat business, referrals and testimonials. By asking questions of everyone and allowing them to mentor you, your success rate will zoom skyward. 

About the author Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, LLC, is a sought-after speaker, trainer and consultant for business growth strategies. She has appeared on ABC-TV KGO “San Francisco View From the Bay”, many radio shows and contributes to Women’s Connection and Diversity Edge Magazines.

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