How Relationships Get You Jobs, Customers and Opportunities

Posted on Wed, Jun 19, 2013 @ 09:06 AM

jocelyn giangrandeThe other day a consultant friend of mine told me that she was exhausted from trying to sell her services.  She found the process uncomfortable, taxing and in conflict with her style.  She also stated she was tired of hearing “no” which wasn’t helping her self-esteem.

Hating sales myself, I knew from where she was coming. Therefore I offered the following advice: “Stop selling and start engaging.“ 

Whether you’re selling services, products or skills for a job, no one wants to be sold to.  Think of the negative reputation of hard salespeople.  Although my friend wasn’t a hard salesperson, most people shut down when they think they’re being sold.  You get much further when you build relationships first.

Need more leads, customers or a job? Build engaging relationships.  Below are three ideas to consider:

  1. Change your mindset.  Don’t think “sell”, think “engage.” Therefore, try changes your focus to building relationships.  Network and connect with your potential customer base.  Going to lunch or having a cup of coffee to become better-acquainted works wonders in building connections. Spend time getting to know others and finding common ground.  People are more likely to buy from someone they know than an unknown.

  2. Get in front of your customer.  Think of ways to demonstrate what your offering so potential buyers can see it in action.  Many of us don’t know what we need until we see it.  This technique is used by infomercials.  Think of demonstrations at trade shows when the vacuum cleaner salesperson throws dirt on the floor and then cleans it up right in front of you.  They know that once you see it, you can’t live without it.  You can try the same technique.

  3. Do it for Free.  Accepting free engagements and volunteering has helped me build many connections and build credibility.  Although I’ve learned to be strategic about my selections, I never see volunteering as “doing it for free”.  Instead, I view it as advertising, exposure and a way to increase my contact base.  Don’t get me wrong; I still need to bring home a paycheck.  However, I volunteer when I can and I’m selective.  It’s also a great way to demonstrate your skills if you’re looking for a job.

Don’t get frustrated trying to sell your services, products or skills.  Instead, try engaging your potential customer by changing your mindset, getting in front of them or doing it for free.  You’ll be surprised how effective it can be. Better yet, it’s much more fun.  Good luck!

Our monthly guest blogger, Jocelyn Giangrande, is a Marygrove Human Resource Management alumna who not only owns her own company, SASHE, LLC, but has over 15 years of corporate experience. Her career advice and guidance have been featured in Women’s Day, HR Magazine; she is also the author of What’s In Your Sandwich? 10 Surefire Ingredients for Career Success.


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Topics: Certificate in HR Management, Graduate Programs for Human Resources, HR professional, Human Resource Management, Human Resources Master Programs, Online Courses for Human Resources Management, career success, networking tips

Connect with confidence: 5 networking tips for language translators

Posted on Fri, Jun 07, 2013 @ 14:06 PM

describe the imageOne of the most important things language translators can do is network with others in the profession. While there are plenty of blogs offering networking tips, a good deal of these have to do with using social-media to connect. Lest we forget, there is a life beyond the computer, so the next time you’re attending a translation conference, and find yourself in a room of strangers, put a few of these networking tips into play. They just might help you turn strangers into professional connections and friends. 

Connect with confidence: 5 networking tips for language translators

Don’t worry about whether or not people like you
In school many of us worried about whether or not people liked us. Now that you’re a professional, you should be more concerned about finding common areas of interest and earning respect. Likeability follows respectability. That said, if you find yourself being rejected in a conversation, forget about it and move on— don’t retreat to a corner.

Talking vs. Connecting
Talking to another person is cake, but truly connecting with him or her is an art form. While there aren’t any rules to the connection game—outside of the obvious no swearing, no getting sloshed—there are a few best-practices:

  • When you meet someone new, you should have a genuine desire to learn something about him or her.
  • Ask questions that prompt the other person to share information about his or her life, values and interests (professional and otherwise). Once the person shares information, dig into your own experiences: Do you belong to similar organizations? Do you have a shared interest? Connect over these things.

Avoid griping
We said there weren’t any networking rules outside of no swearing and no getting sloshed. There’s one more: no griping. Unless you’re at a Sesame Street conference and talking to Oscar the Grouch, keep your gripes to yourself. Language translators can leave an impression by being positive—not petulant.

Assume the role of a host
The best networkers act like the host even when they aren’t. Hosts don’t hide in the kitchen or retreat upstairs to watch TV. Nope, they do their best to make sure that everyone feels comfortable. They mingle, make the rounds, connect with others and make sure others are connecting too. Here are a couple of ways to assume the role of host:

  • When you meet someone new, take a mental note of at least two things about him or her. When you meet someone else with similar interests, introduce him or her to your new friend.
  • Does someone look lost or confused? You may not be able to help, but a simple, “Did you need help finding something/someone?” is one of the easiest ways to start a conversation.

Who are the key players?
Language translators should know ahead of time who is presenting at the conference. Take time to investigate them. Have they written any books, published any articles in the ATA journal? Do they maintain a blog or website? Read their work and use it to create talking points for when you meet them in person.

If you’re looking for a comprehensive list of conferences for language translators, click here.

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Topics: Modern Language Translation, Spanish Translation Course, French Translation Certification, Online Translation Certification Arabic, freelance translation, freelance translator, Translation and interpretation studies, language translators, networking tips

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