It has happened to all of us. Some ideas—even really good ones—just don’t work out sometimes. We come up with a great idea and are
close to signing a new client or securing a partnership and then, just like that, the opportunity is gone. Have you ever considered that maybe your style of doing business is getting in the way? Or that your communication, the way you express things, is not quite right? I know it’s happened to me on occasion and recently, it happened again when I was set to meet a legendary photographer who had agreed to participate in my company’s monthly business call.
It was a real coup to get this photographer and he was a great fit for what I wanted to demonstrate to emerging photography professionals. I was excited, that is, until the day before the scheduled interview. I had all my questions ready and then I did what I always do. I took care of the business side of things and sent him an interview release. Five minutes later, it was all over. What did I do wrong?
I forgot that not everyone is like me when it comes to doing business. The truth-at-all-times, tell-it-like-it-is attitude works for me most of the time, but clearly, it doesn’t appeal to everyone. In this situation, I was too much about businesses and it hurt the friendly rapport that had developed between us. I had not adjusted my communication and attitude to reflect that I was dealing with a true artist, whose passion and calling is the need to create through the lens of a camera.
How To Find The Business Style That Works For You
1. Build Relationships
Some things will work out on the first try. Other things require you to prove yourself over time. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of building relationships. Building trust means allowing others to get to know you and it often takes time. To get into the inner circle of a group you want to be connected with, you must pay your dues. Here’s a really interesting Inc. Magazine article about building better business relationships. http://goo.gl/f8z3Y
2. Your Next Great Idea
Look at why a previous great idea failed. Was it your presentation? Is it the wrong time or are you trying to make a square fit in a circle?
Retreat, rethink and make sure next time your language and presentation is adjusted appropriately for the person you want to reach.
And remember, consistency, quality, honesty and integrity will pay off over time.
Beate Chelette is a respected career coach, consummate entrepreneur and founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private and digital world. Determined to build a community of women helping each other, after selling one of her companies, BeateWorks, to Bill Gates in 2006 for millions of dollars, Beate created The Women’s Code. In February 2012, to reach women everywhere, Beate launched The Women’s Code Online course. https://thewomenscode.com/the-womens-code
I just did this yesterday! I sent out an emergency “sorry to be so business like” email to try and recover, hope it works in my favor. Thank you for your honesty and insight!
I really like the ideas presented in this post. Email is such an ambiguous communication sometimes. One strategy that I use when trying to personalize email, is to use self depreciating humour, or at least self-reflective humour. This is not entirely related but deals with how you present your business personality through email communication: I just sent an email out to a prospective client telling her how excited I was to work with her. When I re-read my email, I realized that I used the word “great” three times in one paragraph. Thinking I looked like a poor communicator, I immediately sent her an email saying – simply “I can’t believe I just used the word ‘great’ three times in a single paragraph” – end of email. She replied back right away using humour herself. I think that simple email took the hard ‘business’ edge off the communication and brought it to a level of comradery which is really what you want when you are dealing with people with whom you would like to do business
Great comment Stephani. I agree with your point. When we don’t take ourselves so seriously communication becomes much easier. We are all people. Admitting to not being perfect humanizes you and makes the other party like you even more.
My dear friend,
I am heading out on a retreat In Monterey Bay this weekend! All by myself! Since I did the women’s code I have to be honest that I have been busy and was not able to join more of your radio discussions and what not. I will no longer make excuses. I almost cancelled this trip out of fear of leaving my family and oh boy what will happen when I’m not here. I will put into practice everything that I learned from your teachings at the Womens Code conference you put on in February. I am constantly inspired by you and now it’s time for me to put it all together and get myself back on track and focus on me. I hope to build new relationships and learn from my mistakes. Thank you for all you do
My lovely CC, thank you for this terrific point that you are making. One of the most important things that The Women’s Code teaches is that you must be gentle with yourself. First we raise awareness so you know that this is what you do, then we give you the tools to change it, and finally over time you make the changes. I saw on Facebook that you are on a trip and I am so überproud of you that you are taking your very first ME TIME TRIP! Congratulations (and by the way, the family will be fine).