Archives for September 2014

Generosity in Business: You Can Catch More Flies With Honey Than With Vinegar

“I’m best of breed within my industry. I’ve got plenty of charisma and I’m not bad looking. I’m one of a kind.”

“My social life; my personal life don’t mean anything to me. I live to work, that’s all I do.”

“I take cut throat and ruthless to a completely new level. The only focus for me is myself. I’m cold and hard. I am unstoppable”

Programmes like The Apprentice, from where the above lines are taken, and Dragon’s Den, are heavily edited to draw in an audience in an attempt to create edge-of-your-seat viewing. For anyone starting a business, this may seem like the way business should be done if someone wants to succeed, but I’m going to let you into a secret: It’s not.

GenerosityOne of the hardest parts of building a new, professional relationship, whether you’re a new or an established business, is establishing rapport and trust. For this, you need to make it clear from the offset that you are one of life’s good people, by showing credibility and empathy with the potential customer or supplier that you’re looking to work with.

Forget this seemingly TV-driven world of corporate backstabbing and bickering, and focus your energies on generosity and reciprocity. For example, when you help another business owner to overcome a challenge, there is a high chance they will look to help you back one day. Even if they don’t, you’ll feel good for helping and will quickly build a reputation as a trusted business professional, which will be act as an attraction tool itself.

We all recommend people we trust. That trust is measured in the level of service provided, the quality of work and how expectations are exceeded by wanting to help and support.

We’ve seen both sides of this approach happen at our Collaborative Cambridge events, a mastermind group where business owners provide solutions to the challenges of others in the group. This attitude is a winner for everyone whether you’re helping others or others are helping you.

Try this the next time you’re trying to forge a new relationship or at the next networking event you visit. Don’t go with the aim of meeting potential new customers; visit with the thought in mind of “how can I help someone else?”

As the late Dr Maya Angelou wrote…

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

What examples of generosity have you seen in business? How has that approach helped you overcome challenges? Email, we’d love to hear your stories.

To view other Start-Up Tips, visit: The A-Z Guide to Starting a Business.

CBL Summer Networking BBQ 2014

Thursday 4th September 2014 saw the inaugural CBL Summer Networking BBQ in the beautiful setting of the Cambridge Union Society.

Over 55 local professionals and business owners met for an informal evening of cocktails, great food and (judging by the photos) laughter. As one tweet received put it, it was:

“Quite simply one of the nicest networking events in recent years. Lovely people, atmosphere and setting”

As well as those who attended, huge thanks go to all the people that made it such a success. They are:

Co-orgnisor: Pendleton Events

Cocktails: Thirst First

Food: Big Day Catering

Photos: Lee Allison Photography

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