Sunday, January 14, 2007

Peas Aren't What Define You

Okay...I have to admit that this post is a few days past due. I apologize for that. My wife surprised me with a little pre-Birthday get away and I had limited access to the Internet.

As promised, here is part two of my discussion with my prospective client about not bringing out the peas before they are ready.

"But Steve, if I am not talking about my business what is there to talk about?"

I often get this question when I talk about making a personal connection before jumping right in and talking business. I am actually quite surprised that some people can't seem to see the value in themselves without utilizing the peas (career, product, service, industry, etc.) as a mechanism to define who they are.

Quick word of advice.....

The peas do not define you. It is simply what you do or what you offer.

You define you!

You are the common denominator here. You....You....You....!

You are what people want to get to know. You are where the stories come from. You are what reaches out and makes an otherwise mundane random connection personal and potential profitable.

Peas have no personality. Peas have no sass.

Peas don't tell a story. Peas aren't usually interesting.

Peas are.....well, just peas. You get me?

As my prospective client and I continued to talk I could sense that he was uncomfortable with my advice. I continued to probe him about why the prospect of being himself made him uneasy in a business situation. To which he answered, "It just seems unnatural. I guess I am more comfortable talking about business than I am trying to get personal with someone I just met."

To which I explained and reminded him of a very important aspect of business.

People do business with people they know, like and trust. No matter how hard you try, no matter how well you make them look and of course no matter how great you say they taste, your peas, as peas, fail to help people know you, like you and trust you.

YOU influence whether people want to know you, how quickly they like you and how you interact and how interesting you make that connection lays the foundation for building trust in you. I submit the quickest and most successful way to do that is to Ripple yourself to be better connections by separating yourself from the rest of the herd. There are no rules.

Well...other than mine and which is....

Keep your peas in your pocket be the You that is You!

Ripple On My Friends!



Thom Singer said...

This is a great post. You are right on the money that people are more than just their job. When networking, often folks do not want to ask personal questions,...but people do not live in silos...we are a combination of all parts of our lives. Work, family, hobbies, past experiences, hopes, dreams, goals, etc....

If more people listened to your advice, networking would be more productive...but also a lot more fun. Learning what makes people "tick" can be exciting.

And since today (Sunday, January 14th) is your birthday....HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you, Steve Harper (King of all things ripple)!!!

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with Tom. This is a great post. I will admit that I too lead too often with the what do you do/what I do approach. No doubt my Peas are scaring some people off.

Thanks for the reminder!

Christina Johnson

Carlon Haas said...

Great post, Steve. I think the mindset many people have is that business is business personal life is personal life. Some of this is fine. You don't need to share your deepest darkest secrets with strangers (though I have had people tell me some incredibly personal things at the 8 Minute Ripple). But why should saying you play the violin, for example, make you uncomfortable?

Having lived a good part of my adult life in a country where personal relationships are valued more than business relationships, I see how finding things in common makes doing business a whole lot easier.

Face it, do you really trust anyone who won't tell you anything about themselves other than what they do?