Who do you need to learn from, get to know, and ultimately be?
If I could pick any boxer to model, it would be Mike Tyson. His fighting style and success in the late 1980’s changed boxing. He had a “bob and weave” style behind a high “peek-a-boo” guard while throwing explosive, accurate punches. Because Tyson was usually shorter than his opponent, he would force himself inside so he could do the most damage.
Given my own size and stature (not that I’m anything close to Mike Tyson), when I’m sparring in the ring, I try to model his style and approach.
There is nothing new under the sun. If you have a desire to improve in anything – sports, fitness, dancing, poker, fishing, or business networking, finding someone, that you like, who excels in that area can be helpful. Especially if learning their style and approach makes sense to you. Let me say this again. Their style and approach MUST make sense to you. If someone else’s style is one you can never adapt or don’t believe in, you’ll never gain any success at using it. You must find and develop YOUR style.
Modeling is an important concept if you’re starting a business, looking to build your practice, or have a specific sales target to hit. Why? Because growing a business is a really tough thing to do. Doesn’t it make sense to look at others that are doing what you want to and simply learn from their blueprint?
Here’s the good news! The role models you need to meet or get to know are probably right under your nose! All you have to do is find someone that does what you’re looking to do. Thinks how you’re looking to think. That is how you’re looking to be. And most importantly – succeeds the way you want to succeed.
And that’s where networking (internal networking that is) could be helpful!
Make a list of all the skills and traits you think are necessary to grow the type of business you’re envisioning. If you have no idea what you want your business to look like in the next year, two years, three years – then you may have some work to do. (If you don’t know where you want to go, how will you know if you get there?)
Make your list of skills on the left side of a sheet of paper (or you can print the grid included here if you can figure out how to do that).
Your list might consist of sales skills, listening, networking, phone skills (scheduling appointments), running a sales meeting, social media and LinkedIn, seminars, fee based planning, case work, and practice management are good examples.
Once you have your list of skills in the left hand column, give some thought to the people that you know (could be at your firm or another firm!) that excel in each of those areas. You might list some of the same names multiple times or you might have a list of completely different names.
Doesn’t matter. Just make your lists and check them twice.
Once you have your list complete, you can do one of two things – completely ignore your list or contact each of the people you listed and set up some time to speak to them. You may have to buy the coffee.
Let them know that you respect what they know, how they work, or whatever, and ask if they would be willing to set aside some time to offer their advice, insight, and recommendations. (I refer to gaining valuable Advice, Insight, and Recommendations as AIR Time.) What do you need to do to get some AIR Time with those you respect and can learn from?
Ask if they can help you in the future as you have more questions. Let them know that it’s a two way street and you’re happy to help them in any way you can. Make the relationship a “we” thing rather than a “me” (as in “you”) thing. Keeping your relationships of mutual benefit is the best way to truly get the most value and have the most fun. Isn’t that what networking is all about?
Make sure you follow any good advice you’re given. The last thing you want to do is waste somebody’s time.
Hope I haven’t wasted yours!read more