Most of the time we do it on purpose, but occasionally it happens through serendipity. No matter how the women who will buy your book or sign up for your services or become your clients get together, you need to find a way to be there.
A few years ago, as I was traveling, I spent time in one airport or another reading The Celestine Prophesy by James Redfield. It's a book on philosophy and the human experience. A major thread throughout the book is the power of coincidence... and the fact that too many people ignore this power, including women, who should be embracing it with open arms.
Yes, women, who have higher levels of intuition, ignore the power of attracting serendipity.
Serendipity, or coincidence, whichever word you like, has played a big part in my life. Through my networking, online and off, I have met hundreds of people who have become friends, colleagues, mentors, and customers. The Celestine Prophesy says coincidences are not random, and that if one learns to see them for what they are -- connectors, ways to build bridges and discover truths, even from those we regard as strangers -- a whole world of excitement and success will open up to us.
That's why today's post is on 5 Ways to Collaborate, Connect, and Court Women Customers - especially those women who enter your world through Serendipity:
1. Leadership Serendipity. In a study funded by a research grant from the University of California, at Berkeley, researchers found that, "When it comes to leadership in the workplace, work teams made up mostly of women tend to share leadership roles more than teams dominated by men."
The serendipity here is in the way women were shown to share leadership challenges with the team, as opposed to men, who were content to allow one person to dominate the group. How does serendipity work in a group setting, and what can it mean to you, when attempting to reach women customers?
It's often in these workplace settings, or in cafes, or on a collective Zoom call, where collaborative groups of people meet that serendipity happens; one person knows the Uncle of another who has a neighbor that might need your services, or someone remembers meeting another person --formerly a stranger -- at a PTA meeting and wants to connect you. Connections are made, friendships are begun -- and success is not far away.
If you visit the video page of this blog, know that many of the amazing, smart, talented women in the Smart Women Conversations came to me by serendipity. Someone knew someone that would be a good fit, and they connected to me and said, "This lady might be good for your show." [Subscribe to my YouTube channel and get the latest video as soon as it posts!]
2. Live Longer and Stronger and - yes, say it out loud: wealthier! Just ask last week's Smart Women Conversations guest, Vicki Wushe. Her book, The Wealthy Retirement Plan, is a necessary look inside the way we think about life, money, and how we are or are not going to outlive our investments. She writes,
"Unlike our grandparents, who collected their pension for a few years before passing away, we have got decades worth of having fun to plan for. Decades of opportunities and knowledge to share in new ways.
Sadly, most people just don’t know how to future plan for when they stop working in the way they are now."
I love her 5 Principles and the way she explains the "time is money" concept. We cover a lot in the video, but her book is what you need to open your eyes to the fact that while we are not going to live forever, we will likely live longer than we expected, and if we're not prepared with a plan, well, do you really want to live with your kids???
It isn't mere coincidence that women and $$ are hot issues today. The serendipity that brought Vicki to me, with a topic I knew other women should be informed of, can work for you, too. Just reach out to your current friends and colleagues and let them know what you're up to. They'll send you what you need.
3. Make eye contact. Rowena Crosbie, president of Tero International, tells us in her YouTube video about eye contact, that eye contact is necessary because we are social creatures:
"Eye contact communicates listening more than anything else."
She goes on to say we use this unique human tool to "persuade, relate, win over, and connect with others."
The question is, how much eye contact do you make on a daily basis? It's May 2020, in The Time of Corona, so you're making eye contact with Zoom friends and colleagues, and possibly with family at home. I submit that you have an opportunity to collaborate, connect and court new customers by understanding the power of an eye to eye, face-to-face, connection. Yes, even across the digital miles.
Every time you are in a place or situation with another human being, your ability to share your feelings just by looking someone in the eye, is what that other person will remember. Talking to or with another person while making eye contact, not looking down or away, shows respect and consideration.
Psychology today asks, "Why does looking deeply into someone's eyes feel like opening a window into his or her soul? Why do some people have difficulty making eye contact?" and then explains the neuroscience behind it, linking it to hunting prey, or being athletic. The author, Christopher Bergland, cautions:
"One of the consequences of living in a sedentary society is that we don't flex the cerebellum enough and often miss out on eye-to-eye connections."
Wise words. Practice your eye contact - this lock down will end eventually, and if we're all out with masks, for a time, you will definitely be communicating with your eyes, more than ever before.
4. Never underestimate the connective power of kids. Don't have any? Borrow some. You know other people with kids... I'm pretty sure you do. Make friends with those parents and learn the children's names, birthdays, likes and dislikes. Don't think kids are worth your time?
Check out this article from the CDD, the Center for Digital Democracy:
"That $1.2 trillion figure isn’t just about how much kids buy themselves—it also includes the degree to which they’re influencing their parents’ purchases. For instance, 60% of all tweens today have substantially influenced their parents’ final decision on which car to buy...
Notice the 'influenced their parent's final decision'. Then, read this Forbes article, How Much Financial Influence Does Gen Z Have? They're talking teens and tweens and while the kinds of items these kids buy may not be what you sell (but they may be), know that these kids are already thinking about what to do next and they are looking for information online.
Sure, these 'kids' are pretty much buying items like those listed below, from Biz Journal/bizwomen, but in the end, parents today value their children's input and mothers, especially, may ask their daughters, "Do you think this is a good idea?" When you have made the effort to build a relationship with the parent, remember knowing the children can put you months ahead of your biggest competitor. It's just serendipity to market to the parent and slip in, "Maybe Alison has thoughts on this. Have you asked her?"
"Toys and games, clothes and shoes, food and drink, eating out, events and outings, books and music, electronic goods and personal care are the categories that see the largest share of Gen Zers influencing parental spending or spending their own money, per the NRF."
5. Always keep your eye out for partnerships. Court your customers to become partners when you see the opportunity - make serendipity your friend. Do NOT hide your best stuff in a separate room, or on a webpage that is accessible only by clicking through three other pages of your site. Do not downplay your best content when talking to someone who does the same thing, or sells a similar product. Embrace the serendipity that brought you together and consider becoming partners.
Working with a competitor can improve your bottom line, instead of fracturing it, IF you use serendipity properly.
Read my post on American Express, Free is at your fingertips in a down economy, written back in 2009. The advice still stands. Especially #2.
And there you have it. Thoughts on business in the time or corona. Where you can improve your success by learning to collaborate, connect, and court your customers.
Any questions? Leave them in the comments or email me. I'm not hard to find and connect with - I'm out there looking for collaborative opportunities every day.