Business Skills school can’t teach you

Over the next few days I want to review an article I read about some basic skills they don’t teach you in school. Let’s start off this week with a good one — “How to make people like you and network”.

As a business owner, it’s very easy to make people feel alienated.  I’m not talking about customers, you’re good with them or you wouldn’t be in business.  Let’s keep this topic about regular people you meet people throughout your day in places like coffee shops, gas stations, even church.  Confidence is a powerful and mostly unspoken form of communication.  However, confidence can be viewed as ego if people don’t know you.

Entrepreneur’s minds are constantly filled with ideas and things that must be completed throughout the day.  This phenomenon, coupled with the confidence factor, can really turn off a lot of people.  Remember most people leave their job at work, and are not thinking about work when they go home.  They do not understand that your mind is constantly spinning about your business.

My first bit of advice is to try and separate your thought time.  Keep the business time away from the personal time.  This can help tremendously in making personal relationships into business ones.  A good test is when you meet someone, don’t ask them what they do for a living.  Try and start the conversation in another way.  “How was your weekend?”, “What did you do on Saturday with that great weather?”  This can help get your mind off your business for few brief moments.

Let’s take a moment and think back to a time when you did not own your business.  A time when you actually thought about something else other than work.  When you meet new people try and be THAT person.  Isn’t that person really you?  It’s really hard these days to “be yourself”.

Stop seeing everyone you meet as an opportunity.  Smart people see right through that.

Does the second part of the topic …”and network” confuse you now?  After all, I just got done telling to stop looking at everyone as an opportunity.  How are your supposed to network now that you see people as people — not opportunities.  One of the basics of selling is to get people to like you.  That’s at least 50% of the sell.  Without getting to know those people how are you ever going to know what you can offer them?

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