Teams and Advisors are Important – Business in a Vacuum Very Rarely Creates Success

Kevin Kennedy at the Webgrrls HotseatEntrepreneurs and career professionals often find themselves stuck in a business situation and can’t seem to identify a clear path around, over, or through the barrier that is keeping them from reaching the next level. Perhaps they are too close to the issue or too connected to it. Perhaps they have a mental block and just can’t come up with the ideas, or, in some cases, maybe, they are the problem.

Finding an advisory group, whether it is formal or informal, is very important. They can be your friends, colleagues, or associates. Some of them should come from different industries and bring with them different ideas and perspectives. We need people…success is very rarely created in a vacuum.

We saw the importance and the immediate benefit of leveraging the collective knowledge of the New York City Webgrrls last week. I facilitated the Webgrrls HotSeat, a workshop designed to help the participants clearly identify an immediate issue that is holding them back and then collectively offer ideas to help that person address the issue and at least start the process of getting past it. It was a great session and it was amazing to see the depth of knowledge and the willingness of all of the participants to share their information and their insights.

Below are some examples of the issues that the participants were facing at the Webgrrls HotSeat last week.

Time Management

Problem: I can’t find the time to get all of the work done that I need to get done…I am running too many projects and the details are starting to fall through the cracks…

Identified: time management problem – not managing the “got a minute” impromptu meetings when someone will pop into your office and say “got a minute?” If this happens too often during the day you will not have the time nor the focus you need to chunk down your to do list.

Solution: Set a side a specific and consistent time each day, perhaps 1:00 – 2:00pm to take all of the “got a minute” meetings that day and stick to it and be disciplined about it. You might have a line out your door and be busy for the entire hour, but you can give each person the attention they deserve. What you also might find is that a lot of the problems might get solved before 1:00 rolls around.

Never Negotiate During The Sales Process

Problem: I get caught every time prematurely telling my price and can’t get the conversation to move past this topic until I compromise on my price.

Identified: Didn’t know how to manage the conversation and started the negotiating process before I was able to let them know of my experience and expertise.

Solution: Never negotiate during the sales process…redirect the conversation with a different question – For Example

Perspective Client Question: How much do you charge?…

Your Answer: I am not sure that that is the right question. Your first question should be am I qualified to execute this project or work for you or consult you etc.

This allows you to share your experience and demonstrate your expertise through the use of anecdotes and testimonials. When you can show how qualified you are the conversation becomes much less about price. Practicing your negotiating and deal making skills is one of the most important business skills that professionals can have.

Bigger Than You Think – Misperception

Problem: My clients perceive me as solo practitioner and there is often a misperception that I don’t have anything else to do or that I will easily settle for less money and they don’t take me seriously enough…

Identified: I don’t have a professional enough image and I am not presenting myself professionally enough.

Solution: Change the perception that others have of you right from the start by using we and team in your language (even if you assemble teams as needed), not only when you speak with them but also on your website and in your collateral material. Having clearly articulated practices, policies, systems and infrastructure goes a long way in helping to improve your image.

Some of these problems/solution scenarios might seem obvious to some but if you are in the mix, sometimes you cannot even see the problem and therefore the solution is way out of sight.

You Never Know Where The Answers Might Come From…

Kevin Kennedy at the Webgrrls HotseatThere was the story of the great big semi-truck that got stuck in the overpass that was four inches too short for it to pass through…they brought in all of the engineers from the Department of Transportation to figure out how to raise the bridge to get the truck unstuck and they brought in the experts to figure out how to cut away at the bridge to get the truck out without undermining the structure of the bridge…and it was a little boy who suggested that they let the air out of the tires…you never know where the answers might come from.

It is important to have a small group of people that you can call upon to run your issues by them and to see if, collectively, you can find the right solution…or put yourself in the Webgrrls HotSeat when they roll around.

Read more about our Latest HotSeat Event Recap.

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