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Archive for the ‘networking’ Category

One Man Wolfpack

In entrepreneur, Marketing, networking, Personal Branding, Personal Development, relationships, Sales on June 23, 2017 at 11:00 am

Remember the scene in The Hangover when Allen claims to be a “one man wolfpack”? Sales and entrepreneurship is not much different. Yes it can be lonely, but it does not have to be.

I love working with new or inexperienced sales and marketers. There is a twinkle in their eyes and a burning desire in their hearts. But when that fire starts to flicker and that twinkle dims a little, it can get lonely. I try to be that person with an open ear for these young professionals. Not because I think that I am just that good, but rather because I have empathy for them. More times than not, they just need someone to voice their frustrations to. I’ve been in sales and marketing for almost 20 years and have been an entrepreneur for nearly 6 years. I find it helpful to have someone I’d like mind to talk to when times get tough, and if you do this long enough, you will see tough times.

Start adding members to your wolfpack today.

The Competition

In Image, Marketing, networking, Personal Branding, Personal Development, Sales on June 22, 2017 at 11:00 am

You know them well. It’s that company that offers the same products and services that you do. The athlete wearing the other team’s colors. Yourself. 

Whoever you have identified as the competition, flip the script. Think of yourself as your competitor’s competition.

Are you the type of company, athlete, or person that the competitor looks at and says, “they’re easy they do ‘xyz’ we can overcome that”. Or are you the type of competitor that they do not mind losing to. 

Over the years, I have had several competitors in business and in athletic arenas. A few stick out in my mind. You knew when you were up against them that you had to bring your “A-Game”. But the ones that truly stand out are just good people to their core. When you lose to them, you say, “I get it, people like them”. It reminds me of that scene in Firgetting Sarah Marshall when Jason Segal’s character is surfing and bumps into Aldos Snow, his ex-girlfriend’s current lover and says, “…you’re so cool. I can see why Sarah likes you”. 

I long to be that competitor to my competition. I like when I run into a competitor and they have “heard of me”. I like when my competition is “job searching” on my behalf because they know the impact and the relationships I have and the ones that I foster. It means I’m doing something right. I’m competing without malice. Doing my job serving others. Not going down the path so commonly traveled by others which is to trash the competition. 

My challenge to you is be that competitor that takes the high road. Be the competition that your competition wants to introduce themselves to. Be that competitor that others talk about in a positive light. Be that competitor that the competition does not mind losing to. 

Interested and Interesting

In networking, Personal Development, relationships on August 5, 2016 at 5:05 pm

I used to call on a physician that told the most interesting stories. He was somewhat shy so when he spoke, people listened. And I was never disappointed. 

On the other hand, every time someone else told a story, he focussed in in the story. He always had the right questions to draw out the right details to engage others in your story.

He passed away about 10 years ago, and at the funeral the pastor told us what he felt made this doctor a great man. He was interesting and interested. I think this is the secret sauce of being a good story teller. You have to engage with others, and that means having a two-way conversation that show your interest in the audience and that is interesting enough to keep the audience’s attention.

If you’re like me, sometimes you may feel that your day-to-day routine is boring. Trust me, to others it is interesting. Think of ways that you are unique. Your hobbies, your interest, your adventures. Start sharing these stories with others. When others are speaking, look for ways to display your interest in them. Focus on what they are saying. Ask the right questions.

Be interesting. Be interested. 

The Trade Show

In Events, networking, Sales on August 2, 2016 at 5:10 pm

I work several trade shows / expos each year. Some of them produce a great deal of traffic, others not so much. I don’t get bogged down about this, though there are times that I wonder why I’m there.

The trick is to out in the work and keep delivering your message. You never really know if the person you are presenting to is a key decision maker or if they have the ear of the key decision maker. Just because there title does not start with the letter “C” does not mean that they send business your way. 

The key is to work for the desired outcome. Keep hustling.

The Networking Ladder

In Communication, networking, Personal Development, relationships on July 20, 2016 at 5:00 pm

I’ve been asked why I spend so much time networking at the bottom of the ladder. First of all, I really do not see networking as a proverbial ladder, but I understand where the question is coming from. In other words, “if you are trying to get to the CEO, why are you spending so much time with the subordinates?”

Clearly the question comes from someone that does not understand the nuances of networking. It takes a strong base to reach the top. If your base is strong, you do not have to worry about tumbling down, loosing momentum while ascending, or the wind blowing your ladder over. Again, this is looking at networking a company, purely as a proverbial ladder.

Yet another example of why to do this is the old Walter Mizner adage: “Be kind to everyone on the way up; you’ll meet the same people on the way down.”

I have spent a great deal of my career in medical sales. Calling on physician, nurses, executives, etc. In my days of calling on doctor’s offices, I learned very quickly that my access to the physician was dependent on the way that I treated the staff. While the physician held all of the prescriptive authority, the receptionist, nurse, and business manger held the power to “pencil me in” to the doctor’s schedule (or not). I became better friends with the staff than I ever did with the physicians that I called on. And as a result, I had better access in the clinic than many of my competitors.

But truthfully, if you really want to know why I spend time networking with individuals that have no control over my business or my sales success here is the answer: BECAUSE IT IS THE HUMAN THING TO DO. I do not talk to people only because they can “do something for me” today or tomorrow or twenty years from now. I do it because people interest me. If it happens to benefit me or my business, great. If not, I still see it as a victory.

People are human regardless of title, maybe it’s time we recognize that. Happy networking.