1. Stop trying to sell to people and start trying to help people. Selling makes us feel bad but helping people and solving problems feels fantastic.
2. Ask for business, referrals and support – just make sure you are asking from a place of worthiness. I’m a big asker but I also make sure that I have something to offer.
3. Build your social capital. Your social capital is something that no one can take from you. Be a connector, a champion, and advocate. Be the person in business that you want to know!
4. Network like a human. Don’t worry about pitching everyone you come in contact with. Learn about the people you meet and try to help them. Elevator pitches and business card collecting is not where a relationships begins. Those cards end up in the trash or a shoebox. Start with being a human.
5. Be a resource. Be generous with information about everything from events and organizations to vendors and must read books.
6. Stop telling yourself you aren’t good at business development. Nothing is more destructive to your capacity to generate revenue than your belief that you’re not good at it. We become what we believe. Start believing that you’re superb at solving problems and helping people. Go and learn more about BD rather than avoiding it. Your revenue will reflect your confidence and engagement.
7. Look people in the eye and know how to shake someone’s hand. It matters. It sounds small but it’s not. A half-hearted introduction gives the impression that you’re half hearted about other things as well.
8. Learn how to introduce people to one another. When you introduce one person to another, be enthusiastic and provide information that would make people want to connect.
9. Don’t trash your competition; rise above them. When you say something bad about your competition, it says more about you than it will every say about them. Just be better.
10. Invest in your professional development. You are your greatest asset. Selling and business development are the only activities that generate revenue. Invest in those skills. Sales solve a lot of problems.
11. Learn to fail with grace. No one likes a bitter loser. Look at how you can be better and move on. It doesn’t matter how hard you fall – it’s all about how well you rebound.
12. Elevate yourself as an expert in your field. Write, speak, and teach. Let people know that you have something to offer.
13. Learn how to listen. Listening is not waiting for your turn to talk. The greatest sales people are the best listeners who ask the best questions.
14. Take risks. Innovation and growth require risk. Without risk, there is no growth.
15. Treat people with decency. People won’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.
16. Don’t take anything personally. You’ll be a hell of a lot happier and whole lot more productive.
17. If you see someone standing alone at a networking event, invite him or her into your group. How you treat people you don’t know says a lot about you.
18. Your attitude and beliefs inform your truth. You cannot adjust your behavior until you adjust your attitude.
19. You can’t wait for everything to be perfect to begin. You have to start and refine as you go.
20. Share your story. Don’t get stuck in your features and benefits. People remember stories not information.
Ann marie Houghtailing is author of How I Created a Dollar Out of Thin Air, CEO and founder of the Millionaire Girls’ Movement, and an international speaker. Her writing has appeared in Daily Worth, Huffington Post, WNC, San Diego Business Journal and the Daily Transcript.