Are you too hungry to go shopping for clients?
Have you ever been delayed with errands and not having eaten go to the grocery store to buy some good food and find yourself leaving with totally ridiculous items?
Better yet have you ever witnessed a friend shopping when they were hungry and thinking with their stomach to the detriment of their wallet?
This experience for me reminds me all too much of how I sometimes feel in business networking environments.
We have all seen it before
Like hungry wolves you can see it in their eyes, and especially when they speak. It is all about what brilliant service they are offering. I will feel a sense of draining and desperation. Sometimes drool appears. Often the wolves don't seem to notice their most urgent and desperate demeanor. Lack of "client-nutrition" seams to have impaired their judgment...
Why is this?
And it begs the question. If others aren't aware of appearing desperate then how do I know if I appear desperate to others when I am networking?
After realizing that at times I really do resemble a hungry wolf, I realized that there must be a better way to relate to people.
It was this notion that led me to believe that a strategy for feeding myself and others might be useful. I also want to be sincere and effective at bringing in clients. I dislike fake or canned sales pitches and so do a lot of people.
Here are some points I've been exploring on this strategy:
1 Feed yourself First:
If I am fed the wolf goes to sleep and I become generous and willing to share. Or at least it takes less discipline to share when I am well fed. I mean this literally and figuratively- If I am going out to a meeting with someone who I feel may be a big client I eat a good meal that is really nourishing for me. I also mean being fed by my own art and service. What do I really like in my art? What is actually inspiring about it to me personally. Can I receive that and feel what that feels like so that I can enjoy and feel filled up with satisfaction? As a massage therapist who can I receive from that will inspire me in my massage art? As a networker who has social skills that are inspiring to me? If I make it a priority to be filled by my art, I will be filled up and have something to share and feed others with.
2 Plan to be well taken care of:
So how about being well fed all the time! Beyond feeding myself with food and inspiration and making it a priority, it is probably wise to get out a planner and schedule a wellness plan for my own wellness so that I will radiate abundance. There is an ancient chinese saying "If you had 3 canes I would give one to you and if you had no canes I would take three from you" It seems at first impossible to lose three canes if I have none, but nothing could be further from the truth. If someone comes to me and feels me as needy and desperate, hungry for cash, they will likely not only not buy anything from me, they will also convey to other people how bad of a service I provided, even if it was "technically good" or whatever. So what do I say? As a creator of wellness plans For me I say have "3 canes", 3 square nutritious meals, yoga or a gym membership some awesome energywork to reduce stress and be at the top of my game as well as planning for fun social time and occupational inspiration recharge. I forget to have a wellness plan sometimes and then I remember how I seem like a magnet for abundance when I am well and then suddenly my priorities change.
What plan would inspire you to playing at 125%?
Having a wellness plan saves time and allows for better utilization of energy and resources by taking care of your number one resource, YOU.
It creates more time and greater productivity too. Give yourself the opportunity to see what your client sees by regularly trying out services in your own industry.
3 Use creativity and curiousity to create useful gifts to give to feed others:
You don't have to give something that will lose you your shirt. You can give in little ways that also show you care, better yet if it has nothing to do with your business, because then it doesn't come off as being too pushy. It's like a thankyou or a care package. It's the little things that show who you are to people and that build trust. Be curious and generous first, don't offer your service right away offer your goodwill and your desire to be helpful as a fellow human being. Find something appropriate as a gift something that fits in with the values of the client. Dont offer milk chocolate to vegans or a steak coupon. Find something that applies to your target market and personalize it or find a way that they can personalize it and use it over and over thinking nice thoughts about you. And... lots of people love chocolate.
4 Really pay attention to and investigate what the other person is hungry for:
Really dig down and if you can give it to them as a sample of your work or even a referral to another business, they will remember that you helped them. And that makes them more likely to return the favor if they know someone who is looking for a service or product you provide. Don't try and sell them on what you think is cool about your service. Focus on what they value and stop. You are really offering them an opportunity to see that you are real and trustworthy. And for those of us who occasionally get a little wolfy and start to drool, this is time to remember who you are and that you are abundant no matter what. Experiencing this kind of giving when the going gets tough can uplift you and bring clients to you too.
5 Be yourself and give to those who are ready to receive and appreciate the meal
Giving out of a perceived sense of Lack or need is like lighting cash on fire. People do have great need all around the world, you may perceive yourself this way. It is good to give to the poor and and hungry yet giving only to the poor will only make you poor.
Some people have been so hungry and illusioned for so long that they will devour all resources including all you can offer. These people can be sustainably helped with group effort and collaboration and with you being sustained by focussing first on your relationships with those who are not in so much need
As a wellness service provider I encounter this a lot. And without socialized medicine these people can only be helped by a massive change of policies and or grassroots collaborations. Every industry has it's needy sector.
Pick your percentage of how many freebies and trades or gifts you can give sustainably and use them wisely to invest mostly in allies who will help you to help everyone including the needy long-term.
Be yourself visibly so that others can see who you are and what you stand for and accurately determine whether or not they would be a good ally for you. These are the ones who can appreciate the "meal" of your services and prevent burnout. Be courageous in front of the big kids and you will have more help. Then you will have the abundance to share and the inspiration to always keep your apetite whet for being generous.