E- Zine - April 2003


Tips to Outclass Your Competition - How to Schmooze your way to Success.

Why does networking have such a bad reputation? Because it's too often misused in ways that are inconsiderate, inappropriate, unprofessional or shortsighted. If you want to be a networking success, steer clear of the things that turn people off. Here's how:
  • Don't make idle promises. Do you often say, "Let's get together" with little or no actual thought of following through? If so, you'll appear insincere and ineffective. Instead, commit yourself to action. Example: "Let's meet for lunch. Are you available on …?"
  • Don't be too aggressive. Avoid giving the impression that you are targeting people at a networking event. You should nurture contacts - not try to drum up business - during networking events. Example: Ask for the opportunity to follow up with a phone call instead of putting someone on the spot.
  • Don't exaggerate or embellish. Networking is a give-and-take, so you'll probably end up referring contacts to your networking partners. When you do, remember there's no need to put your reputation on the line. Example: Never guarantee someone else's services by saying: "John has just what you're looking for. He'll be perfect for you." Better: "I know someone who sounds like a good match. Here's his number. Please use my name, and let me know if I can help in any way."
Adapted from People Power, Donna Fisher, www.bardpress.com.
Source: Communication Briefings.

These are the "don'ts" for successful networking. But what about the "do's" - the handshaking, the introductions, the small talk, the listening…? If networking or social skills are important to your success - call 405-341-3216. Learn the tips and tricks of "Schmoozing your way to Success."

Customer Service Techniques - A formula for listening.

How do you feel when you are talking with someone whose eyes are darting all over the room? Do you feel unimportant - like you don't exist? How about when you start a story, and the other person interrupts with a bigger, better, story? No matter what you say, the other person takes the stage away from you. We've all been there and know how it feels. It's not fun.

Do you know one of the best ways to attract a customer is to listen to their story? Letting your customers be heard is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. Your business and personal life will thrive if you truly listen well.

A formula for listening:
Listen to the other person's story.
Listen to the other person's story first.
Listen to the other person's entire story first.

If you really want to listen to someone, you must pay attention to them and them alone. Consider the story of a little girl waiting for her father to come home from work. She had a wonderful story to tell him and was so excited when Daddy walked in the door. Daddy did what he always did and sat down to read the paper. The little girl, after repeatedly receiving an "uh huh," in response to what she was trying to tell him, finally reached up, pulled the paper down, wrapped her tiny fingers around his face and said "Daddy, listen with your whole face."

How well do you or your employees listen? Do they listen with their whole face? To impress your customers with great listening skills, and to win their business, call 405-341-3216 today.

The Coach's Corner - Ask yourself these questions.

As human beings, we are wired to try to succeed on our own - to do things "our way." We work, struggle, and give it our all. We critique ourselves brutally. When we succeed, we credit it to luck or something outside of ourselves. Shakespeare said, "It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves."

As your coach, I support you and walk with you inside of yourself. I ask provocative questions that make you think. We go deep into your surface stories to see what is hidden. We look at what is true about your story and what isn't true. I hear what you are saying and what you are not saying. I press for clarity, not for myself, but for you. What is the destiny within you?

Ask yourself these questions the next time someone says something to you that just doesn't sit right. "What is true about what the person said? What is not true about what the person said? How can I learn from this? What is the value of this?"

Let me give you an example. I recently worked with a client who told me people thought she was snooty and stuck up. I asked her what was true about that statement. She said she thought she might give that impression because she was serious and sometimes nervous around people. I asked her what was not true about that statement. She replied that she really wasn't snooty at all. She just didn't know how to fit in. I asked her how she could learn from this. She said that maybe she could look more friendly by smiling. She had a lovely smile and her eyes sparkled when she smiled. I told her this and her smile became even bigger. She said she would try this. The value to my client was enormous. Even when she was feeling shy or nervous, she forced herself to wear her beautiful smile. Her smile was inviting. People no longer avoided her and she began to make new friends - just because of a smile and a twinkle in her eyes - just because of a few simple questions and looking a little deeper.

If you discover something from this exercise, I'd love to hear from you. I promise not to use your story without permission and would never use your name.

Asking provocative questions is just one of the many coaching proficiencies I use with my clients. If you want to make significant changes in your life, hire me as your coach. Our coaching relationship is powerful, and when the going gets tough we stay in collaboration and work through to the other side. As your coach, you have my word that I am 100% committed to you being powerful, successful and to having the life you want.

Quotes of the Month - Stop and listen.

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
       --- Bobby - age 5

"Genuine listening means suspending memory, desire and judgment-and, for a moment at least, existing for the other person."
       --- Michael P. Nichols

Ask the Expert - How can I be a better listener?

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