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The Ten Commandments Of Networking / All You Have To Do Is AskFriday 12/09/2011
StevenSteven Kay / Steven Kay Media LLC
Talk Show Host & Producer

713-783-8365

http://www.stevenkaylive.com
All You Have To Do Is Ask!

 

I remember my first sales job, it was in telemarketing. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was young and ambitious. They gave me a week in training, and then let me loose on the phone. During training they gave me everything they said I would need: scripts to the pitch and to objection rebuttals, product information and materials, etc. After training they gave me everything they said I would need: a desk, a computer, a phone, and a list of people to call on. Everything, that is except for additional help.

 

I was drowning. Three days went by and no sales. Each day I felt more pressure, as I knew if I didn’t make something happen quickly they would not keep me. At the end of my shift my supervisor would ask me how I did, go over the objections I met and advised me on how I could overcome them. He always seemed willing to help but not very helpful to me. Five days in, still nothing. I started telling my supervisor I was getting close, had some call backs, and trying to make myself sound like I was doing better even though I was not. He reviewed more of my calls with me (some that he actually monitored) and offered suggestions, but I just didn’t think he was telling me anything useful.

 

Eventually, I figured it out. On my eighth day I closed my first deal. It was very exciting for me. I reflected on that moment for awhile, remembering everything I did to make it work. My voice inflection, my responses, my timeliness, and so forth; and told myself to repeat it exactly the same on the next call and every call after. The next day I closed two more, and then three more the following day. It was a good thing too because they were just about to let me go. I became one of their top sales people and eventually moved into management. I attributed this to my ability to learn from my mistakes and teach myself how to improve my skills, never for a second considering anything they did ever helped me.

 

Many years later I bought a business. The business had been in operation for five years and losing money, and I believed I could turn it around. I did everything, organized the programs, developed new products and services, all of the accounting and bookkeeping from receivables to payroll, inventory management, marketing and advertising, and more. Once again, I found myself all alone with no one around to help me. I took every ounce I had ever learned and taught myself about business management. I ran that business for eighteen months, and I did turn it around. I tripled the revenues and still lost money. Even worse, I had later learned that I had done many things wrong, including my payroll taxes which ended up being very costly. Although I had always prided myself on being a self-taught / self-made entrepreneur, at that moment I certainly wished I had someone I could have turned to that had some of the answers I was missing, rather than learning what I needed as I went along and in some cases too late.

 

Shortly after, I fell back on my expertise as a marketing and sales expert, and a friend of mine introduced me to a wonderful organization called BNI (Business Network International), www.BNIhouston.com. BNI has a philosophy at the core of the organizational culture called “givers gain”, where professionals join together to be a value and a resource to others. It is there that I learned that I am not alone, that there is a world of resources available to me and how to ask for help when I needed it. It is there that I also learned how to be a resource to others, and the satisfaction of true success that comes from doing so.

 

When I was at my telemarketing job struggling to figure out how to get it right, I had a supervisor trying to help me, but I wasn’t asking the right questions. Instead, I was too quick to make excuses in order to buy myself some time to work it out. Imagine how much faster I could have gotten there if I had just said “please tell me what I’m doing wrong”. In fact, I probably had a whole room full of people I could have asked for help but I did not, simply because I felt the environment was too competitive so none of my co-workers would be willing to help me. Imagine how much better I could have been if I just turned to the person next to me and said “I can’t seem to get over this objection, how do you do it”.

 

When I was running that other business thinking I was doing well because revenues were going up but not aware of all the mistakes on the back end I was making, because I thought I could handle it all on my own. I thought that I can learn how to do anything I set my mind to, and I was right, but what I didn’t know was that there are people with the knowledge and resources I needed that could have saved me the time and trouble of the learning curve.

 

My point being that we are not alone! Help is all around us!!! Whatever it is that we are trying to accomplish in our lives, at our businesses, with our money; there are certain experience and skill sets that we already have and/or are our strengths, and for the rest there are people out there with the information and assets we need that we lack and/or are weak at.

 

All you have to do is look around and find them. All you have to do is ask for help. Since I had joined BNI, I have gotten involved in many organizations and have networked with thousands of people. I have enjoyed the relationships I have formed, and love being a resource to others as well as having an infinite number of resources available to me when I need it. I have found that there are many people who enjoy assisting others and are ready and willing to help, and I have found that there are many people who need my help as well. The key is to make your needs known, and be as specific as possible so people know how to aid you.

 

If you have a real need, never hide it. Don’t fall into that trap of thinking protecting your image is more important. People are not mind readers, they don’t know when or how to help you if you won’t tell them. Be open, share your needs, and you will find that will be fulfilled. Jesus said, “Ask and you shall receive!”.

 

Then just remember to return the favor by being ready and willing to help others when they need it from you. Or better yet, be there to help them first, and ask everyone you meet how you can do so.

 

 

 

 

About Steven Kay: Steven Kay is a media consultant, and a talk show host and producer, whose recent projects include “Life Business and Money”, “The TALK 650 Morning Show”, “Retirement Wealth Talk Radio”, and "Business Builders Radio". His company Steven Kay Media LLC is an independent media buying agency and consultation firm that specializes in talk radio advertising and marketing, as well as producing and hosting talk shows. They work with entrepreneurs, service professionals, and small to mid-sized businesses to create affordable and effective campaigns utilizing broadcast media. You may contact Steven Kay directly at 713-STEVEN-K (713-783-8365).

Previously broadcast from:
SKL @ BlogTalkRadio.com 11/07/2011 - 01/03/2014
CBS Radio's Talk 650 10/12/2009 - 07/01/2011
CNN 650 Radio News 11/08/2006 - 10/08/2009
KSEV AM700 04/04/2005 - 10/30/2006

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