“Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after an experience with you becomes your trademark.” — Jay Danzie
There — I said it. Networking sucks. Anyone who likes networking isn't networking, they're connecting (stick with me).
Anyone who hates networking is probably networking. And doing it badly.
If you meet someone and they try to 'sell' you on their product or service, that's networking. What they really should be doing is connecting. Connecting is where you try to 'connect' with that person. Where . . .
- You take a concerted interest in who that person is and what they do.
- You get them interested in you (not your business).
- You get them to feel your passion, intensity, enthusiasm, confidence, single-minded purpose, & fearlessness.
- The feeling we’ve won the game before it starts.
Because if I bumped into someone who portrayed half of those qualities — I most certainly would want to get to know them better. And help them. And mention them to my clients.
“If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you’ll be fired with enthusiasm.” – Vince Lombardi The funny thing is, it happens ALL the time. And people wonder . . . ‘What Happened?’:
- I went to work every day.
- I was there on time.
- I did what they told me to do.
It’s all about PERCEPTION. I know I’m going to get a lot of flak for say it, but it really comes down to how your superiors, your clients, your colleagues, and your team perceive you.
You can be the hardest working individual. The smartest. The fastest. You might be the only one on the block who hits their numbers.
But when the chips are down, you are shown the door. Or the client cancels their contract.
Here’s a little secret: It’s how others perceive your ENTHUSIASM.
- Are you a cheerleader? Are you positive (and not negative)?
- Do you take on your responsibilities with gusto?
- Do you deliver them on time AND let others know about it?
- Do you BRAG?
- Do you ask for more work?
- Do you help your boss/client with their burning issues?
- Are you constantly thinking outside of the box?
It’s not only your enthusiasm that makes a difference, it’s how others feel, encounter, and experience your enthusiasm.
My son was told by his teacher one day to add more ‘pizazz’ to his class presentation. “Go outside of the box – make it memorable.” So he did — he thought of ways to make it more engaging and fun — and he got an ‘A’ on it. How can you add ‘pizazz’ to everything you do? (by the way – he now adds ‘pizazz’ to everything he does).
Take a second and think of the most enthusiastic people you know. You know — the one who hits their desk on Monday with a smile, dives right into their work, always has a positive thing to say about the company AND never gossips.
How is their career doing? Are they on the hot projects? Do they have a 'ton' of clients? Are they invited to the cool meetings? Are they asked out to lunch by upper management? Are they asked to speak at major functions?
They probably are.
Today’s homework: How can you add just a little bit of pizazz to your job today?
This year, I would like to offer up my Top 5 motivational videos I watch regularly to help add a little bit of energy and enthusiasm to your life.
Once upon a time there was a coach. He woke up every morning at 4:30 AM and worked until 5 PM. Some days he worked at his office in Stamford — some days he worked at his home office.
Some days he coached all day long with wonderful clients — some days he was on the road connecting with old and new friends to build his business.
During these wonderful times, this coach would make a small detour and pick up a few foodstuffs for his family (it's the least he could to to help his ravishingly beautiful and infinitely smarter wife).
This day, he stopped off at a supermarket, let's call it Supermarket 'A'. Everywhere Rich went in Supermarket 'A', if he saw an employee stocking the shelf or walking by, they would greet him with a smile and ask if they could help him find something. Many times, they would comment on an item he was purchasing and offer positive comments on how to use it. The store was clean, well-stocked, and had a homey, comfortable feel about it.
Supermarket 'A' provides a station where one could sample new foods and most of the time, the offerings were incredible where the coach would just have to buy the spotlighted item. And today he would do just that.
The best part of this coach's visit was checking out. First, there were three registers open and one of the employees immediately caught the coach's eye and asked, "Ready to check out? I can take you over here!". As they unloaded his cart and scanned each item, they engaged the coach in conversation about some of the items he was purchasing and how his day was going so far. They profusely thanked the coach for bagging and encouraged him to fill out a ticket (a drawing for a free gift certificate) because the coach brought and used his own bags.
With a hearty good-day from the Supermarket 'A's employee at the register, the coach had an extra spring in his step rolling his carriage to the car.
The next day, the coach had to stop at another supermarket, let's call it Supermarket 'B'. Everywhere Rich went in Supermarket 'B', his aisle was blocked by multiple large, wheeled pallets full of boxes. The employees unpacking the boxes all had a unique air that the coach would describe as 'depressed and angry'. They rarely moved out of the way, grunted when they had to and filled in each aisle making travel a torture course for every shopper. Each aisle was dirty and the lighting resembled the inside of a refrigerator — blinding, florescent white.
When the coach reached the pharmacy to pick up a prescription (no worries - it's an allergy) — he had to wait in line (5 customers deep) and watch the pharmacist work behind the counter, answer phone calls, and ultimately step out and assist the next customer. Where it should have taken the coach 2-3 minutes to complete a simple pick-up transaction, he was in line for approximately 12 minutes. That's a long time to spend standing in line. Honest.
Finally, when it was time to check out, there were only three (out of 15 registers) open and all three had lines 5-6 people deep. The coach chose the self-checkout register, scanned his frequent shopper card to get normal pricing on his items, and began to unload, self-scan, and pack up his items in his bag. Guess what? Three items in, the scanner encountered a problem and required a manager to login, reset, and allow the coach to purchase his five items. Unfortunately, there was no manager to be found, so the coach had to wait until one appeared from their break.
With a hearty FU from Supermarket 'B', the coach had an extra slog in his step and rising, burning anger in his neck rolling his carriage to the car.
All kidding aside, what's going on here?
- One establishment gets it, one doesn't (or just doesn't care).
- One has engaged and enthusiastic employees, and one doesn't.
- One has the layout and logistics of selling food nailed, and one doesn't.
- One had a comfortable, homey feel and the other a dirty, clinical atmosphere.
- One had reasonable pricing and great quality, the other high-prices and questionable quality.
Now you might ask, why does the coach shop at Supermarket 'B' and not all the time at Supermarket 'A'? Proximity and convenience. 'A' is far away and takes 30 minutes of drive time. 'B' is five minutes away.
There are a number of lessons to learn here today:
- Availability and convenience do play a major part in consumer's choice. Time sometimes trumps quality, service, and price.
- The way you treat your customers, with even the simplest of transactions, impacts their shopping experience. Bad employees do hurt you.
- Even though people want choice and change, they also like consistency. They don't want to be inundated with 100's of items. Make it easy and simple.
- Making customers wait should be avoided, not embraced by your organization. Even DisneyWorld makes waiting fun.
What's the moral of the story? The coach should (and will) plan out his shopping each week and endeavor to hit Supermarket 'A' on a regular basis.
I've been noticing many of my clients, colleagues and friends inquire how I have so much energy and enthusiasm during the day. Here's my secret:
What would happen to your career if you gave life-changing presentations?
During a coaching session with one of my incredible clients, I constructed a term they needed to produce to ensure success at their task. I called it ENERGETIC ENTHUSIASM.
They have a marketplace-imposed deadline — they only have 30 days to get their task complete. So they have to get off their butt and get it done.
Zig Ziglar's latest podcast touched a nerve with me the other day . . .
The other night, I played Call of Duty—Black Ops with my son on his new Xbox 360 (with Kinect!). It's an amazing system — and it's quite entertaining. Unfortunately, I played it all wrong — or at least that's what my son told me (vociferously). I either camped out in one spot and picked everyone off like a sniper, or I ran blindly into the fray as fast as I could shooting everyone in sight. As I was reprimanded by my son, the 'right' way to play is to move slowly and shoot strategically at your enemies. I disagree ;)