If you want people to share their research and experience with you — to save you a ton of time with trials and errors, and to get results faster, remember to open to their input and express your appreciation, whether you use it or not. Otherwise they may stop supporting you. Of course you can perform your own research, etc. and do what you want…
I was in a networking meeting recently and we were talking about the new website we wanted for our local business networking meet-up group and I suggested a particularly good directory plug-in to add to our site to easily list access to our members. One of our members reacted, “Oh you know there’s lots of those. They’re just like iPhone apps you know, ‘there’s an app for that.'” Now, regardless of my of my thick skin, I felt a little angry, disrespected and offended at her off-handed remark. “How dare you blow-off my recommendation?!?”
She had no idea how much research I had done on the subject, what what my experience with WordPress sites is, the Internet, software, people, everything in general, and the fact that I’ve used several directory plug-ins before I finally found one that really works and looks good, and I’m using on my own website… Ugh!
A better response would have been, “Wow, which one are you using?” (https://businessdirectoryplugin.com/) “Why did you choose that one?” “I’d like to take a look at that!” “Can we see it working on your website?” (http://www.businesspowertools.com/business-directory/)
Most people naturally like to make a contribution. From Scott Degraffenreid‘s research, people often like to make recommendations and referrals because it also makes them ‘cool.’ We all have egos… it’s not a bad thing, and we can learn to access each others “onboard computer” for our benefit. Immediately accepting an idea can go a long way to getting more ideas. Jeff Walker (Product Launch Formula) points out that, “people who contribute to a project will support it.” Accepting a [perceived] contribution to your project may even get you another person who will promote it!
You can even take this a step further by openly acknowledging their idea on your website or in your blog. (And sure, there may be a fine line between giving and taking too much credit, but if you want to keep the ideas and referrals coming, I’d err on the side of openness and appreciation.)
So, here we are in a networking group ostensibly to teach and educate each other weekly on our products and services such that we all might make an informed recommendation to others we bump into “out there.” If we are going to recommend each other to others, I believe that we must be most receptive to recommendations ourselves.
The impact on investors?!?
One more thing… and this could be worth a lot of money: Imagine for a moment that you are a potential investor in a start-up or growing company… You’ve been around, you’ve seen “things,” and you have suggestions for the entrepreneur pitching you on writing them a check. Whether it’s steering them around an imminent pothole or something else they may step in, if your suggestion is blown-off, how are you going to feel? What are you going to do? Me? I’ll put my checkbook back in my pocket. Why would I invest in a management team who doesn’t listen to my advice?
Afterall, I want to invest in a company that I can add some value to that will improve my own ROI. OK, sure they may have a better solution already, a different idea, a reason for doing something else, etc. I get it, BUT if/when you hear me out with some “generous listening” (listening for the possibilities and upside), I will believe that I am making a difference and that you are receptive to my help with your success! This is the essence of “Smart Money.” Also, by hearing me out, you may be able to determine how smart my money really is! Some people talk a lot and others actually have something useful to pay attention to…
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