"Ask For The Business"
Your Success Thought for the Week of May 9, 2007

While attending an annual shareholders meeting this past week, I was most impressed to see the CEO stand in front of hundreds of people asking for their business. I was equally impressed when my niece (who was interning at a software company) continually espoused the benefits of this software to anyone who would listen.

Why did both of these instances impress me? Because many of us forget about the bigger picture of the company for whom we work diligently each and every day. Irrespective of our position within the company, we are still responsible for its success. Positive increased visibility and sales will create success.

Natural assumptions for the above mentioned CEO could have been 1) that because the audience was composed of shareholders, they already have their business with her firm or 2) that she had sales and marketing people to do the selling, so why should she be responsible?

In posing this question, she gave the audience pause to think: "Am I supporting this firm with my business - with my family's business? What more can I personally do to support this strong company that I've invested in?" If you don't ask for their business, how will they truly know that you want it? She also modeled the behavior that she expected of all of her staff.

My niece could have assumed that since she was in such a low position at the time, what difference did it make to her if the company did well? Judging from her ensuing promotions, her loyalty has been well rewarded. On some level, she knew that what was good for the company was good for her, and she was right on.

The concept of 'sales' frightens even the best of us. "I'm not a sales person and never will be!" I hear this often. You needn't be in the sales or marketing department of your company to promote it. It's simply a matter of asking the right questions.

According to The Etiquette Advantage in Business, developing the skill of asking questions is quite beneficial:

Asking the right questions can set you on the road to success. If you move the conversation along with gentle, intelligent questions, you'll more than likely gain valuable information given freely without seeming nosy or intrusive-information that makes all the difference in the outcome of a business transaction of any kind. You'll almost always learn things about her or him that you wouldn't learn if you chose to dominate the conversation.

What questions are right for your particular situation? Ask those around you. Ask your marketing folks to make a presentation or suggestions. Ask your boss, associates, and existing clients. Please don't forget the most important part of asking questions-listen openly to their answers, which will likely lead to your next question.

Make this art of 'asking for the business' a new tool for your success tool chest this week.

Enjoy your discoveries!


P. S. We'd love to hear how you used our 'Success Thought of The Week' in your business or personal dealings.

Ann Golden Eglé, MCC
Executive Coach & President
Golden Visions Success Coaching, LLC

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