From my perspective, it is also fundamental to our method of building a sustainable business. Summed up in the phrase Givers Gain®. So in the spirit of the times and our beliefs, I thought I’d share with you my top giving tips you can apply to any part of your life as well as your business ...
"Have a simple strategy!"
Give wherever you can, just because you can. Giving is a reward in itself. It also seems a little uncomfortable to have a strategy only to give to receive. However, do apply a little self-preservation as looking after yourself means you will be in a better position to continue giving to others.
My rule is to give first and then wait and see how the other person responds. That doesn't mean you expect a quid pro quo, what to look for is that they are appreciative and give forward i.e. give to others.
And why wait for Christmas? Giving is a crucial part of every relationship so spread it out across the year. Get into the giving habit. Why not have the rule to give something to someone every day?
Giving every day may seem excessive if you focus purely on the grand gesture. A quote from John Ruskin reminds us that, "A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money." These little things often count for more in a relationship as long as they are thoughtful and relevant.
Here's a somewhat disquieting example drawn from my early coaching experience. After an initial session, I set my client homework to do something different with someone he knew. He reported back to me that when buying petrol, as he went to pay, he bought his girlfriend a chocolate bar as well as one for himself.
I don't know who was more stunned; his girlfriend or me! But thinking about it, whilst that seems extreme, how many times do we do the same with people? How many working relationship flounder because people only make their own cup of tea in the office? Or at home come to that?
Every interaction you have with others is an opportunity to give large and small. Yet a common cry I hear is, "I don't know what she wants" or, "I don't know what he needs". My first thought is, have you been paying attention?
It's the first thing you can give. Listen to what they are saying and ask relevant questions to check understanding. What you can do for them will emerge from that conversation.
Two examples are drawn from experience:
A horror story. This man never became my client. He was moaning about networking not getting him results and how he hated the banal conversations people had. He just wasn't interested in what was happening in their world. And guess what? They weren't interested in his world either!
A success story. During a large-scale redundancy programme, my client spent time listening to two colleagues talk through their concerns and worries about what they were going to do next. Two years later when both were firmly established in new roles, they repaid him for those conversations with strong referrals.
And finally, let's go back to the beginning and take another look at the strategy of Givers Gain® A crucial part of successful giving is enabling others to give back. We started this blog post with a simple strategy to give because you can.
Relationships are about reciprocation, and they blossom when both sides gain. Make it easy for others to help you. Those conversations where you're paying attention are more powerful when you reach the points of common interest, as that is where you can help each other the most.
In the words of Maya Angelou, "When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed." Have a lovely Christmas, and I look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year.
If you'd like to learn more about referral marketing then do give me a call on 07970 638857 and let's have a chat and see how I can help you.