If you’ve reached a point with your business where you think it might be time…
How to Get Noticed, for the Right Reasons
It’s always a challenge to get noticed in a crowd.
As a Small Business owner, we’re all in the same boat; it’s a crowded boat too. The supermodels of business are those with the big reputation already.
Sick of being overlooked for the big brands in your industry?
Aren’t we all? I could right now jump on my soapbox, “Small Business Comrades – Unite!” However, just think about it? If you want to be noticed by other Small Businesses, maybe a start would be to seek out services from that same group but more on that another day.
Being frustrated won’t solve the problem, it won’t make you feel any better, and it won’t attract any business to you. So, let’s explore another path.
Getting noticed and being heard are two different things.
Running an online community, we often have a post #doesanyoneknowa or “Does anyone know somebody…?”, and I love these. It’s an opportunity for the community to work together, and all ships lift on the rising tide.
However, too often there is a ‘Pick/Buy Me’ shout out from prospective suppliers. Going in for the quick sale instead of exploring what their prospective client is really seeking.
Your prospect has two questions.
Amy Cuddy, a Harvard Psychologist, suggests there are two critical questions we have when we meet a stranger. Our survival instincts kick in immediately and automatically we are summing up our chances of this being an agreeable acquaintance or not.
In her book Presence, she proposes that the first two questions are:
- Can I trust this person?
- Can I respect this person?
We seek signs that answer these questions as quickly as possible. Warmth and trustworthiness are the key competencies we seek first. What’s their intention towards me? That’s what’s behind it.
It’s behind many traditions we now have including that of clinking glasses when we drink. Apparently, this dates back to a day when a nobleman would invite his neighbour over, and when they started to drink, to show he was not out to cause harm or at least not poison the guest. The host would pour some of his drink into his guests who would return the gesture, to ensure there was no poison.
Credibility is secondary.
Being secondary isn’t bad; it’s just not the primary concern. So often we get it back to front. We think we have to display our professionalism, our intelligence or our expertise to win favour. If we haven’t passed the first test, there’s too much noise going on in the mind of our prospect to notice what we’re saying. What may be a plea for recognition of credibility is lost as posturing, instead of being accepted as a display of competence.
Steve Covey in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People discusses how with relationships, slow is fast and fast is slow. We need to take time to be appropriate and accrue sufficient trust before we are even heard.
Be appropriate with your message.
With my background in recruitment. I’d constantly be coaching candidates to appreciate what to be concerned with at each step of the process.
- The resume – was an opportunity to display your value you’d created in the past and invite conversation.
- The interview – was an opportunity to explore both fit and how the organisation could leverage from the experiences you’d accumulated to see where the employer could benefit from them.
- A second Interview – was an opportunity to explore mutual opportunities and ensure that there was a strong likelihood of lasting progress.
In the past, I know how inappropriate I’ve been with my messaging; trying to display my smarts and positioning as an expert when all someone wanted at the time was for someone to listen and appreciate their challenge.
Next time, we’ll explore more on being appropriate and respecting boundaries as you develop the relationships that build a great business.
Bringing it all together.
To stand out all you have to be is memorable for the right reasons. When a prospect meets you, they want to know if they can trust you, trust your intentions.
Taking the time to get to know them and appreciate their situation before you launch in with a display of your competence and solutions will bring more work more consistently. Generally, for clients that will be with you for years.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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