By Guest Blogger:
Bryan K. Kieler, MSSL ’11
Walsh College Alumni Board Member
VP, Community Development
As the holiday season is upon us, it is a time to pause, reflect, and appreciate those in our lives. Often we do this well with our personal lives, but when it comes to our business lives some of us are better than others. I have worked in the banking industry for 12 plus years and want to offer some ideas. These ideas are a melting pot that I have stolen from others and learned in my career. John C. Maxwell stated, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Year-end is a great time to reach out to not only those in your personal, but also those in your business lives, and reflect on what has worked, what can be better, and how to grow the relationship going forward.
Too often young professionals are overwhelmed with the pressures of a new career and doing well. Within these pressures they try to rush the art of networking and relationship building. I will be the first to admit my sales process is not right for everyone or every industry. I’ve always taken the approach of letting people know what I do, but I do not use a pressure sales tactic. More importantly, I have invested the time to get to know the challenge a given relationship is experiencing. Once I understand the challenge at hand, then I look to give guidance even if it doesn’t mean business for me. Examples can be: Making introductions to others that I know that can make the given challenge easier; thinking creatively outside of the box for solutions; and at a minimum challenging the thinking process. Often one already knows the given answer; he or she just needs to vet the challenge to think more clearly. In summation, my first suggestion is do not lose the importance of establishing a sound relationship before the sale.
Connection is the next area of recommendation. Most of us are searching for more hours in the day, and are overwhelmed trying to keep relationships engaged. One of the greatest recommendations I have heard over the years, by a number of people, is to make a goal of sending out five hand written notes every week to business contacts. Ideally one is referencing a recent success they experienced, or an article you saw about the person or their business industry and you thought it may be of interest. The written note can be simple and to the point. The objective is to keep the connection alive and demonstrating to your contact that you remember them.
Lastly, my recommendation is more for the personal side and connection with yourself, which ultimately will help you connect with others. In a business meeting, one of my mentors introduced our team to a concept: E + R = O. After a bit of research, it looks as if it was first introduced on the football field at Ohio State University. Despite any debates about the school, the lesson is very valuable:
E = Event
R = Response
O = Outcome
The O represents 100% of what happens in our lives, after all, it is the outcome. The E, is the event. Too often we allow what happens to us to actually define us. The neat thing is the E actually only represents 10% of the Outcome. As such, how one responds to a given situation represents 90% of the outcome. I challenge you to implement the E+R=O concept in your life. Don’t let negative events or negative interactions define you. Remember, the only thing you can control is how you respond!
In closing, I would like to wish each of you a great holiday season and welcome you to share your thoughts. Get involved and become an active member in building experiences at Walsh College while engaging with the College and the Walsh College Alumni Association. After all, the strongest foundation in any business environment is built on relationships.
Be a guest blogger for the Walsh College alumni blog. The alumni blog is a platform for alumni to inform readers, share knowledge and give advice in their field of expertise. Contact Duc Abrahamson, Alumni & Student Relations Manager to submit a blog entry. Entries will be reviewed by the Walsh College Alumni Association Marketing & Communications Committee.