“All was silent in the wood…”
So begins the first page of my one of my favourite children’s books, The Love Me bird, by Joyce Dunbar. It tells the tale of the Love Me Bird, who lives her life flitting from tree to tree in the wood, calling plaintively for someone to ‘Love me, love me, love me…”
No-one answers her call, and one day, in exasperation, Shut Eye, the wise old owl tells her to sing a different tune.
‘Love you, love you, love you…” he suggests she calls instead.
And guess what? The next day, she hears an answering call from another Love Me Bird, and the two of them flutter off together.
It’s a beautiful book, and one the children loved to hear over and over again; I used to read it to them to help them understand that relationships aren’t just about ‘us’. Very often, learning to focus on someone else, and understand what we can do to help them, brings us far more reward than thinking solely about ourselves.
And so it is in business. The lessons of the Love Me Bird stand the test of time outside the classroom.
If we want to inspire confidence in our potential clients and customers, then helping them to feel that you fully understand their needs is an absolute must. Taking the focus off ‘me’ and onto ‘you’ is something that every successful entrepreneur has learned to do.
There is often the temptation to demonstrate, understandably, just what you can do – ‘I can…I am able to…I have…I am excellent at…’ and so on. We need to convince potential clients that we have the skills they are looking for, and that we are competent enough to deliver the expertise or product that they want to buy. This builds confidence in those around us, that we can walk the talk, and do what we say we can do, there’s no doubt about it.
But how often have you taken this approach and been like the Love Me Bird – left fluttering around, making lots of noise, but getting very little in return?
Have you ever tried taking the wise old owl’s advice and tried singing a different tune? What if, instead of flitting between different branches asking people to ‘Love me’, you concentrated more on showing them ‘Love you’ instead? Wouldn’t this be a wonderful way of building confidence in what you can offer, by showing clients and customers that you’ve taken the time to understand their needs?
How could you make your customers and clients the focus of your attention? What could you do to build a relationship in such a way that it became less about you, and all about them? What new ways of working, what ways of keeping in touch, of making them feel appreciated, could you find, that would add value to what you do?
Building confidence in your services doesn’t have to be confined to showing or telling others what you’re capable of, but rather building strong relationships built on ‘Love you’ principles. Watch what happens when you do.
This was a guest post by Susan Ritchie from Make yourself Matter – The Confidence Mentor.
I help you & your team to be confident, successful & happy at work.
What love have you shown to your clients?
What love have you been shown by a supplier or a shop in the past that has made you remember them and speak about them to others?
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To your onward success
Simon Jordan Marketing – Brand building and growth coaching