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Posts tagged ‘chances’

Wall Flower? Unskilled? I Don’t Think So…Build Your Self-Confidence and Make The Right Impression!!

I recently attended a networking event and had the pleasure of meeting a dynamic young woman who was just starting out in her sales career. I personally love attending networking events and go with the intention of just making “business relationships”. I look forward to hearing what others do, what they are creating and how they are doing it. I make it my point to talk to at least 5 people I haven’t talked to before. Not because I want to hammer them about what I do, and score a sale, but to make real “connections”. I advise you, if you are attending networking events to go with the same attitude.

When I first saw this young lady, we’ll call her Ann for the sake of the story, she was sort of off to the side–a proverbial wall flower. Ann was in her late 20’s and was dressed in an appropriate suit, her highlighted hair pulled back severely into a low pony tail, heels that were maybe a bit too high, and jewelry that was made for a much older woman.

There were about 30 other people who were waiting for the main ballroom to open, all getting acquainted with each other. It was obvious some knew each other well and some that were jumping right in with others they had never met. It was a room that was filled with greetings and laughter and it was that positive, open, increasing noise level one would expect from a networking event. Ann wasn’t making eye contact with any of them, she had scurried off to the side as quickly as she could after checking in and retrieving her name badge from the registration table and honestly, didn’t look at all interested in doing so. Ann leaned up against the wall closest to the restroom while rustling through a black leather portfolio, while scrolling through her Smartphone. She had brochures and cards, notebook paper, pen, a large handbag and she was juggling them all better than a clown in a circus!

I decided to approach her first because it was obvious she wasn’t very comfortable and I didn’t want her to be on that wall alone for very much longer. When I approached her, and introduced myself, it startled her, but she looked up quickly with a nervous smile and an exuberant handshake. We all know what happened then…YEP! The portfolio and brochures as well as the Smartphone and cards flew in the air and fell with a clatter to the floor. About 10 of the other attendees who were around us turned quickly to see what had happened and then realized it was a minor situation and turned back to their conversations. Ann quickly dove toward the ground on the wobbly high heels, while tugging at her jacket and pushing back a piece of hair that had come out of the pony tail and said, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I can’t believe this happened. I so wanted to make a good first impression.”

I knelt down to help her and said with a reassuring smile, “I’m the one who is sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.”

As we were collecting her things, she let me know that this was the first time that she was attending a networking event on behalf of the company she worked for. She was a brand new sales representative for a small, local company, and her employer had asked her to attend. Prior to working for her new company she had done retail sales for about 3 years, but the retail hours were killing her family and though she loved sales in that environment, she wanted to advance her sales skills. Ann had convinced the small business owner that because she had done high-end retail, she knew that she could learn and take that consultative approach forward with her company. Ann’s boss believed her, saw something in her, and Ann appreciated the opportunity to move into a sales role that was business to business and account management.

The only thing that was lacking was Ann’s CONFIDENCE! After we gathered her things, the doors opened shortly after. We sat at a table with a few people I had met before, though wanted to get to know better. I introduced her to the group and she calmed down very quickly. As we dined on our roasted “event” chicken and roasted potatoes she shared more about her experience. We found out that she was a college graduate, she was married and had a small child. She told us about all the customers that she used to work with and how she “got to know them before ever suggesting a thing for them to buy”. People had told her that she was a natural-born salesperson and that she was too good for the store. I could see as she settled in how likable she was, knowledgeable she was, and how passionate she was about her current company.

Hasn’t that happened to all of us at one point or another? We know we have skills, we know that we can learn, we know that we can be excellent for our clients, but something inside just grabs a hold of us and we totally lose it? Prior to Ann even getting to that event she was already wondering and doubting. She started ruminating, over thinking and wondering if she was out of her league or if the other people at the event would see her as the professional she knew she could be. She had over-inflated their roles because they had titles, and had successful track records in their fields–or so she thought. She made assumptions without knowing anything about the people who were there.

Though she didn’t have a great deal of experience in her current position, Ann tried to “play the part” and cover all the bases with the outfit, the professional hair, the brochures and cards, but none of that could stop the doubts from racing through her head. That lack of confidence kept her from engaging with the people who were there with the defined purpose of networking. Wasn’t that the exact reason WHY she was there? By not engaging and running to the wall, she was telling everyone in the room to stay away. She was acting unapproachable–rustling through the brochures, playing with the phone. That’s a sure-fire way to not get rejected, but it’s also the best way to come away from an event with no new contacts, which perpetuates even lower self-confidence.

I recently heard that you have 7 seconds to make a good first impression. If that is true, how many people made an assumption about Ann that was not only inaccurate, but would mean loss of business for Ann’s company? And why did they get the wrong impression? Because of Ann’s lack of CONFIDENCE…not her lack of being a GREAT business contact. I can’t wait to work with Ann more. She is so awesome and it’s going to be a blast to watch her skyrocket to the top of her field!

As I work with sales professionals, especially women, I find this to be an ongoing theme. I work with many to just change that one aspect and their careers SOAR! The results after we work together can be astronomical and they go on to achieve great new heights, and achieve what they really want…just by making the CHOICE, TO TAKE THE CHANCE, and MASTER THEIR CONFIDENCE!


The Lost Art of the Love Note

Today on the Rachel Ray Show, her guest was Garth Callaghan. You may remember his story, as he is the dad that was diagnosed with kidney cancer who decided to write inspirational notes to his daughter, on napkins, and put them in her lunch. If you haven’t had the chance to hear the whole story, Google him and read this not only inspirational, but touching story. He wanted to make sure that his 14 year old daughter had a note, everyday, in her lunch until she graduated from high school. With the uncertainty of his cancer, he wanted to make sure that she had his thoughts, his quotes, and the ability to still have a part of him should he pass away before she graduated.

This reminded me of something my parents used to do. When I was growing up, my dad worked first shift and my mom worked second shift. In order to make sure that they had solid communication, they would sit down and write each other a note, before they would leave for work. This was a note separate from any daily updates or “Honey-Do” lists. It was always signed, “XX, OO, —“.  I believe this is one of the things that kept their marriage vibrant for nearly 40 years.

How many times do we take the time posting to Facebook, Twitter or other social media sites? Do we ever take the time to sit down, with pen in hand and write a “Love Note”? Let’s not wait to tell those we love how we feel. Let’s take time each day.

Over the next 40 days, I am going to prepare and give a “Love Note” to my husband and kids, to not only let them know how much I love them, but to tell them why. I am going to challenge each of you to do the same. You can write your note to anyone–parents, siblings, best friends. Anyone that you choose that is important in your life. I’m going to use Post-It Notes rather than a napkin, but any unique canvas–lunch bags, notecards, etc., could work! If you drop a note in the mail everyday, because you don’t see your loved one daily, that will work too! Get creative!

Let me know how you are sharing your “Love Notes” and how they are being received. Let me know how it’s changing your relationships! Let’s see how many people we can get to participate in this “Love Note” challenge! Share this blog with all your family and friends!

Remember, it’s the Choices that you make and the Chances that you take that can make all the difference in the world!

Time for an “N’T”-ectomy

“I can’t”, “I won’t”, “I couldn’t”, “I shouldn’t”, “I wouldn’t”, “I don’t”…

I realized today that what stands between most people and the realization of their goals, dreams, and aspirations is “N’T”. If we expand it to it’s full form, it’s the word NOT. As in “I can not”, “I will not”, “I could not”, “I shall not”, “I do not”.

Most road blocks or excuses that individuals throw into their own paths usually start with one of these phrases. Think about how many of them we use on a daily basis.

“I can’t get to the gym because…”, “I won’t be able to go to that seminar because…”, “I couldn’t get that book you told me about because my internet was down…”, “I shouldn’t stop making phone calls, but…”, “I wouldn’t want to bother anyone…”, “I don’t want to, I’m not comfortable…”

If in fact, we are not serious about reaching our goals, and the “N’T”‘s keep coming up, be honest with yourself, take the pressure off of yourself, and understand you really don’t want that goal, need that goal, or have any desire to achieve that goal…and create new goals.

If however, you are just not willing to remove the “N’T”‘s from your vocabulary, but you truly want to achieve your goals, you have officially found yourself at a cross roads. It’s impossible to tell yourself “you can’t”, “you won’t”, “you couldn’t”, “you shouldn’t”, or “you don’t” and reach your goals. Just like it’s not possible to SMILE and speak a negative statement. Or scowl and speak a positive statement. The brain is solid that way–positives can’t support negatives and negatives can’t support positives.

If you want to get positive, get results, reach your goals…it’s time of an “N’T”-ectomy! NOW!

If you are scared, doubtful, lacking confidence, it’s up to you to psyche yourself up! No one can do it for you. This is where your chatter in your head has to support you and what you are trying to achieve. Your thoughts and how they affect you, the rest of your team, your family, your income, can only be changed by and controlled by you.

Be quick to identify with what is causing you to want to throw in an “N’T”—put the feeling out there, then put a big, old, BUT before any “N’T”—watch what happens…”I am doubting my abilities right now, but I know I CAN…”–REPEAT…REPEAT…pretty soon, the first part of the sentence will get dropped, because you can’t believe you CAN and doubt at the same time. It takes practice and discipline…but doesn’t everything? Know your thoughts, know your beliefs, be conscious with your choice of words, then you will take your results to the next level.

How many times have the “N’T”‘s kept you from reaching your goals? Go back and see if you talked yourself out of your own success with just the “N’T”‘s…Practice removing them from your vocabulary starting NOW!

It’s the CHOICES that we make and the Chances that we take…even with one little word that can make all the difference in our world!