We just had an enlivening conversation about how to Earn an Income Making Something Meaningful at the Digital Workshop Center’s new co-working space. It was awesome to see the corollaries people drew between past experiences as political activists and their business development activities. I believe we would have made Jonathan Fields proud. There was also agreement that the traditional role of a sales person is not only inauthentic but also unethical.
That said, we acknowledged the importance of being influential in order for our endeavors to be successful. It is the difference between forcing a product/service on another versus being mindful and respectful of solving a problem for someone. The former is a me-centered approach while the later is a service oriented approach. At the end of the day wouldn’t you rather someone thank you rather than curse your name? We have all had experiences on both ends of that spectrum as consumers, which do you prefer?
Couldn’t make the book discussion but want to glean some insights on how to Earn an Income Making Something Meaningful. Here are the 8 take aways from our discussion.
1) Pay attention to goose bumps
Empathy is a very powerful practice for heightening your ability to truly serve others. One fascinating physiological response to pay attention to are when you get goose bumps while in conversation. This insight actually came from the recommended reading of our next book discussion, Leading with Heart. True to form, EntrepreNerds can’t help but draw connections among the many wonderful sources of information we rely on to rejuvenate our thinking.
2) Practice communicating in different languages
Some of us had recent experiences where we were communicating with people in different languages. It forced us to hone our non-verbal communication skills and pickup on other subtler yet more accurate cues. What people say does not always reflect what they are really thinking. Body language and visual cues can help you read between the lines and assess the subtle nuance of any situation.
3) We are all selling at some point in our lives
Pink’s book affirmed the notion that we are all in sales because, at some point, we all seek to have influence over others. It is the hope that your intentions are good…and seeing as how you’re in EntrepreNerds, they probably are. But good intentions without awareness of others or yourself can be detrimental. You must make a habit to check-in with yourself and those you serve to ensure your good intentions create positive results.
4) Address a clients needs instead of forcing a solution
Conventional business practices say to develop turnkey packages or solutions to sell. But what happens when your ready made solutions do not fit a customers needs? If being of service is a priority for your business it is important to take a step back so that you solve customer’s problems rather than forcing your solution on them.
5) Educate clients
We are experts in areas that our customers are not. As such, we have a responsibility to educate clients. It might feel tiresome to do, but it makes a huge difference. Your customers are not going to stick with you if you have an, “I’m the expert, I know best, do as I say” attitude. It’s like the parent saying to their child, “Because I’m the parent, that’s why!” Kids are forgiving, whereas customers will take their money elsewhere.
6) Be committed to making a product/service customers will love
If you want to empower clients to refer you, the product/service you sell must delight. Building something people love takes effort and requires you to seek feedback. Again, empathy is important here! How often have you heard a business owner complain when someone that obviously should buy their product or service did not? I hear it quite frequently…stop whining are start listening. Just because you love what you do doesn’t mean other people will.
7) Show that you really do care
Actions speak louder than words here. A little effort goes a long way, although sometimes you might find that you have to go above and beyond. What are you doing to show your customers that you truly do care? Maybe ask them – how do you know that I care about you?
8) Say “No” when you cannot be of service
The truth is you cannot delight everyone. It might be hard to say no. And it may feel counter-intuitive to turn away a paying client. But by saying no to someone you cannot truly help (for whatever reason it may be) is actually the greater way to serve them.
So, there you have it, here are the 8 take aways from our Book Discussion about how to Earn an Income Making Something Meaningful. Up next we will be talking about Leading with Heart. The two recommended readings are The Art of Empathy and Conversational Intelligence. Get your copies today for a riveting discussion in late October.