(an excerpt from Chapter 3 in Becoming an OBM)
We all know the value and importance of talking to others about business strategies and ideas. This is the reason people join mastermind groups, hire coaches and create business partnerships. Being a business owner can be a lonely job and I believe it is essential to have others with whom you can collaborate in order to create a successful and fulfilling business.
Clients want someone to be a sounding board, to brainstorm with them, share ideas and consider options; someone who isn’t afraid to speak up. When we talk to business owners, they describe this as their number one wish, “I would love to find someone who will brainstorm with me and help me figure things out.” I call it a wish because most business owners have a really hard time finding someone who will do this with them, and have had to “do without” – which means a HUGE opportunity for you!
What is required to be a thought partner? A couple of things; you need both experience + confidence in order to be able to effectively speak up with your clients.
Experience comes from having done ‘it’ before and knowing what’s involved with a particular strategy or idea. You can share with your client, “I did X with another client and what happened was Y, so we may want to consider that here.” or “I know X tried that once and it really worked, have you also considered doing Y?” The more specific experience we have, the more intelligently and effectively we can contribute to conversations with our clients.
Ask yourself – what kind of experience do you have that could be of value to share with clients? This isn’t about knowing it all, rather it’s about recognizing what you do know and being willing speak up. Also, what kind of experience do you wish that you had, and how can you create that experience
Stay tuned for next week’s post where we discuss part 2 – confidence!