Posts tagged #TotallyTrendyTuesday
The Ultimate Guide for Business Development Professionals to Become Industry Influencers #TotallyTrendyTuesday

Mr. Malcolm Gladwell, the best selling author of the book Outliers suggests that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at any one task and to be considered a master at that craft. This level of fine tuning can take anywhere from five to ten years of dedication depending on the time you put into it.

As a Business Development professional, regardless of your industry, you will begin to be seen as a resource as you build long term relationships with your customers. They will begin to rely on you for more than the product you are affiliated with, and they will see you as a comprehensive resource for your industry. It has been my experience that having influence and being an industry resource is of incredible value; but where to start? How does one begin to create meaningful influence within their industry and build their 10,000 hours towards mastery?

Here are some of the ways I went about the process of creating influences and helping people along the way.

Practice and Share Your Journey.

On of my favorite ways to connect with people is on my blog! if you look back to the beginning of my blogging history about every 3rd post I wrote about what I was literally doing. You see, I was practicing and sharing what I was learning and teaching, simultaneously. I did not wait until I had everything figured out, I started writing as I was learning. Start with your own blog and begin sharing your findings. Once you feel comfortable with that, begin looking at possible speaking engagements or writing for a trade journal or local publication. Be willing to share your findings, expecting nothing in return, building rapport with anyone that finds your work. It was by sharing what I was doing that I learned more, and by way of sharing it with you, created value.

Read, Research and Invent.

In order to be a resource in your industry you must know what is going on and begin creating your own predictions as to where the industry is headed. One of the most attractive attributes of an industry influencer is they are not afraid to predict the future! Being a predictor is more about being willing to notice what is going on and share your own perspective on possibilities and be less concerned about your accuracy and more excited about your willingness to talk about it. Another way to expand your perspective is to read about what others are saying. Spending even 10 minutes each morning reading can sharpen your sword for the day ahead.

Mentor and Be Mentored.

Simply put, finding someone who knows more than you do as well as someone who knows less and then joining arms is so incredibly valuable to your life! I have found my favorite moments are when I am sitting across the table or on the phone with someone and I hear the gears “click” into place for someone and they “GET” what message they were meant to get. Being on the giving and receiving end of that is total soul food. If you feel you are under qualified to mentor, trust me, someone out there knows less than you and are looking to be helped in the same way someone is looking to help you. Giving without expecting anything in return is the best juice to keep the flow of your life going.

Like Mr Gladwell talks about, it requires patience to be willing to hone your message/craft. Today’s world moves so fast, we are all racing to an imaginary finish line that does not actually exist. This whole deal is a journey, and it has been my experiences that openly sharing your journey is one of the fastest ways to influences your network and create value for the people you meet.

Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O

How to Win Buyers and Increase Your Influence by Solving Problems instead of Pushing Products #TotallyTrendyTuesday

Everyone has the friend that is known for interrupting.  You know, the one that interrupts you mid-sentence while you’re telling a good story to tell you ALL about them. By doing this, they think that they’re “relating to you”, while in actuality, what they’re really doing is hijacking your punch line and demonstrating that they’re horrible listeners.

As annoying as that type of listener is, a close cousin to the interrupter is the listener that is listening with an agenda.  When you listen with an agenda, you listen waiting for the person talking to walk you into your Segway to your product pitch or what you want to talk about instead of validating what they are talking about. This is a very common attribute displayed by many people in sales.  All too often, prospective customers feel comfortable enough to start down the path of their real problems, and as soon as the sales person hears the “in” they JUMP right into the middle of the story and hijack the conversation over to the land of products and solutions.  When most of the time, the prospect is wanting to be heard, understood and empathized with, solutions and products might fit down the road, but to start, they are simply wanting to be heard. 

I truly believe that salespeople are not filled with malicious intent when this type of scenario plays out. A lot of what guides this type of behavior is product excitement and a true desire to solve problems for people.  But just like the way you handle a first date vs a marriage of ten years, you ease into it and you “court” her BEFORE you ask for her hand in marriage, and get to know the person before you hop into products pitches. 

The Foundation of any relationship is communication, while listening is truly the juice that provides the flow between two people.  I would argue that the best sales people/business development professionals are the ones that know how to listen and then ask great questions keeping the conversation about the prospect.

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Everyone has problems; have you ever had a hard day increasing sales while providing a safe place for people to talk about their problems? Most people haven’t, because if you help create solutions to their problems by listening, you will have a customer for life.

A very practical and simple way to focus on listening is to make the conversation about the prospect. This sounds simple, but how do you do that? Here are a few tips to hone your listening skills:

Make Eye Contact
By focusing your attention on the prospect, it allows for a calmer mind and increases your listening ability, if you find you drift off, bring yourself back by way of eye contact. 

Practice selfless listening
When you find yourself wandering, think positively about the person in front of you and practice empathy, instead of letting your mind wander to how your products will fix their problems, bring your attention the the literal words they are saying and what the meaning is behind their words. 

Create your own meditation habit. 
Part of being a good listener is having a quiet mind and in my experience the best way to learn to quiet your mind is with a regular meditation practice.  Headspace is a great app that guides you through a wonderful ten minute per day meditation.  Fantastic for beginners or anyone really. 

When you are focusing on evolving your leadership as a business development professional, focusing on listening will help your ability to solve problems. 

Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter@LindseyRainH2O

What are the Key Differentiators between Sales People and Business Development Professionals? #TotallyTrendyTuesday

As the role of the salesperson continues to lose relevance to today's buyer based on how people are purchasing, how does a salesperson evolve into what is more relevant? If evolving into a business development professional is the route to take, what is the first step?  Let’s begin by defining some key character traits of business development professionals and how they may be differentiate their message. 

Business Development Professionals Solve Problems
Leave the product talk at the door.  Gone are the days where what you are selling is the focus of your meetings.  WHY you are there is a far greater focus. Best selling author and speaker Simon Sinek has a wonderful TED talk called “Start with Why.” Click here to watch it.  He talks about how people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.  It is critical then that you know WHY you are going to visit the prospect you have a meeting with; is it because of your product? Then you might want to rethink your approach. 

Business Development Professionals Are Industry Experts
When you have a relationship and a rapport, you become a resource.  The other day I was looking for a new shampoo and conditioner. What was the first thing I did? I texted the girl that does my hair and asked her what her favorite product was.  We trust the people we have relationships with and we ask their opinion.  As a Business Development professional, you might sell treadmills and equipment, but you will more than likely be asked questions about flooring, lockers, front desk technology, you name it! Once you have a relationship, you will become a resource. When you focus on selling instead of consulting, often these items are overlooked and the opportunity to support the whole picture gets lost. 

Business Development Professionals will Walk away
One of the biggest mistakes I see salespeople make is thinking everyone has potential to be their customer.   It is so very important to know your customer, and realize that there will be plenty of people that will not be your customer.  The hardest part is knowing when to stop and walk away.  The fact is that if someone is a difficult prospect and difficult to work with pre-sale, imagine the headache they will create for your company once they are on-boarded. These types of sales end up costing your company more money long term. Short term, you might have made your commission, but long term it is not worth it for everyone involved. 

In today’s business climate solving problems, being an expert in your industry, and knowing who is the right fit for your product are fundamental necessities to long term success.  The leaders in Business Development will be known for developing long term relationships based on being helpful and being an asset.  Organizations that see the potential to evolve their sales roles will succeed long term. Those that do not? It will only be a matter of time before the old tactics will yield no results. This is by no means a comprehensive list of character traits, but certainly a good starting place.

Are you or your organization attempting to pivot from sales to business development? I would enjoy talking with you about your experience.  Connect with me here and let’s talk! 

Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O

The Secret Ingredient to a Successful Online Presence #TotallyTrendyTuesday

I am often asked the question, "where do I start" when someone is considering creating their online presence/personal brand.

While it can be overwhelming to know where to start with all the website platforms, domain names and social platforms to join, there is a crucial step that comes before all of those details. 

Consider this:

If you are like me and believe that who you are in business is who you are everywhere, that the myths of "work life balance" are no longer relevant, then you might agree with what I am about to say.

If it is true there is no difference for you between business and pleasure, then shouldn't what you show people about yourself online be no different? If that is the case, step zero in your plan is all about discovering, YOU. 

Who are you? What do you love? What are you about? What do you dream about?

Once you have answered those types of questions, you will have a starting place to begin creating your brand.

Long before the profile photo, the domain or the twitter bio, discovering what makes you tick and lights your soul on fire is the place to begin.  Because reality is when things get rough, because they will, will you know why you began or where you are going and most importantly, why you want to go there.

If you feel intrigued and would like to talk to me about my experience on the topic, click the box below and let's start a conversation! 

Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O

#TotallyTrendyTuesday Being a Leader Requires Emotional Intelligence

One of my favorite books of all time is Illusions; The Adventures of the Reluctant Messiah, by Richard Bach.  The book offers a tremendous level of insight for leaders and anyone interested in self discovery. 

I bring up the book because it is a wonderful summary of the importance of emotional intelligence, knowing yourself and being comfortable enough with yourself to feel your feelings.  Each time I read it, I learn something new about myself. 

One of my favorite parts of the book is Chapter thirteen, and while I would encourage you to read the entire book, here is chapter 13 for you to take in and reflect on your own choices and ability to respond to the life of your creation.  

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Click on the image to enlarge

Click on the image to enlarge

What do you think? Is the life of choice, responsibility and emotional intelligence necessary for today's leaders? 

I would enjoy hearing your perspective on the topic.

Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O or check out her website