To authentically grow your business, one CEO preaches adopting a “give” mentality. But when do you sell?
By Susan Baroncini-Moe (CEO, Business in Blue Jeans)
How many times have you experienced someone reaching out via email or LinkedIn, asking to schedule a time to talk on the phone or over coffee, only to get into the conversation and realize that all they really wanted was to get you to introduce them to people you know so they could grow their business?
If you’re like me, this has happened to you a lot, and you might be left wondering, “I’m growing my business, too. But how can I do that when so many people are just trying to get me to introduce them to other people so they can grow their businesses?”
The Get Mentality for Growing Your Business
The “get” mentality for growing your business is based on the fundamental philosophy, “I’m going to go out and get some business. I have to get people to send business my way.” It’s all about what you can get from other people and how you can get people to do what you want.
The problem with the get mentality is that it turns people off fast. In general, people don’t want to be sold. They want to buy, but they don’t want to be sold.
Just think of the last time you were in a store where the salesperson was overly pushy and imagine how you felt. Didn’t you want to leave, just to get away from that person? Even if you like what the store is selling, if the salesperson is all about making the sale and doesn’t understand the delicate balance between helping the customer and giving him or her the space needed to make a decision, you’ll feel uncomfortable and leave the store, rather than making a purchase.
The Give Mentality for Growing Your Business
In the “give” mentality, the philosophy is fundamentally different. It’s more about “What value can I provide to this person so that he or she feels like they’ve received honest value and they feel valued themselves?”
Many business owners misunderstand the “give” mentality and think that by rephrasing their sales conversation in such a way that they think about sales in terms of how they’re “giving” customers and clients the “gift” of working with them, or they actually ask people, “How can I help you?” which is actually just another way of saying, “What can I sell you?” Even when I hear people say, “How can I serve you?” it’s just another way to sell.
If you’re concentrating on the selling, then you don’t have a “give” mentality for growing your business.
If you’re focusing on building relationships and getting to know people and provide true, honest value to them, whether it’s a part of your business or not, then you probably do have the “give” mentality for growing your business.
But… But… When Do You Sell?
One of the questions I’m asked time and time again when I talk about the “give” mentality to growing your business is, “Okay, great, so I build relationships. But when do I get to sell?” The bottom line is that, if you’re doing your job and getting to know people, you shouldn’t have to sell much. That doesn’t mean you won’t make money, it simply means you shouldn’t have to be doing much selling (meaning, convincing), simply because the people you’re building relationships with will let you know when they’re interested in buying. This type of exchange is not only easier, but yields customers and clients who are more loyal and happier about hiring you or buying your products.
Don’t get me wrong — you do still have to pitch and explain your services in the most appealing way possible that lets your prospective clients and customers know what value you bring to the table. The difference is that you wait until they ask you to tell them about what you do, versus pouncing on any possible opening, which makes your opportunity to sell a much more organic experience.
How to Stay in the Give Mentality
It’s not always easy to stay in the give mentality when you’re growing your business, especially if you’re struggling or really need the business, but most importantly, it’s hard to stay in “give” when so many people out there are stuck in “get.” Here are a few ways you can stay in the “give” mentality to grow your business.
Be Aggressive (In the Right Ways)
Being successful doesn’t necessarily mean you are aggressive about pushing your business on people in conversations. Some of the most successful people I know are aggressive about pursuing their work, sure, but not about pressuring people to hire them or buy their products. So be aggressive when it comes to delivering an exceptional product or service with unquestionable excellence and be aggressive about serving your clients and customers impeccably. The result will be referrals and recommendations to people who want what you have to offer.
Educate by Example
Even when others are bombarding you with sales pitches and pressure tactics, you can provide an excellent example of how to be successful without those strategies, and in the process, teach others an alternative path to success.
Choose Your Network With Care
Be aware of who you surround yourself with. If you’re connected to someone who just doesn’t get it, and who continuously lives in “get” mode, eventually you’ll naturally gravitate away from that person. Over the years I’ve experienced a few people who seemed very “get” oriented. Gradually, I became uncomfortable with the relationships, simply because the conversation always seemed to be about what they could get, rather than what they could give.
And when I think about my business, I think about who and how I can help, rather than how I can get business. It’s a fine line, but a line that makes a world of difference in a relationship.
Deal With Your Money Junk
If you have brain junk around money, it’s affecting the way you conduct business — plain and simple. Money brain junk makes you live in fear and anxiety about making ends meet — no matter how successful you are. And if you don’t deal with that junk you’ll be stuck in your fear and ultimately, a “get” mentality, as in “how do I get my bills paid?” And that will keep you stuck in the wrong mentality to help you in successfully growing your business.
I recommend these books to begin to fully appreciate and understand the “give” mentality, primarily because when I read these books (all by Bob Burg and John David Mann), I thought, “Yes.” They’re quick and easy to read, and definitely worth every page:
This post originally appeared on Business in Blue Jeans.