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How To Quickly Boost Business Through Collaboration

Posted by Bill Doyle - Altitude Communications on 23 July 2019
How To Quickly Boost Business Through Collaboration

A Podcast Interview Bill Doyle Interviews Lisa Sweeney from Business In Heels

How To Quickly Boost Business Through Collaboration

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Here's how you can boost business through collaboration and some pro-tips on how to break the ice when it comes to meeting new connections.

In the world of Networking, building relations and Collaboration, Lisa Sweeney is a world-class expert. Lisa Sweeney is the CEO of Business in Heels and she is also a Strategic Connector, Mentor and Speaker who helps to identify relevant opportunities and content for your connections.

A Podcast Interview Bill Doyle Interviews Lisa Sweeney from Business In Heels

In the episode:

02:17 - The Importance of Asking for Help
02:47 - Surrounding yourself with experts
04:54 - Fit Your Own Mask First
05:22 - Tips to help Overcome Overwhelm
05:50 - What's your Superpower?
06:20 - Source Experts & Outsourcing
08:01 - Collaboration and Matching Your Values
09:12 - The hidden treasure
09:56 - Your Key to Join Venture Relationships
10:30 - Time-Tested Framework
11:13 - A mix of obvious and not so obvious
11:50 - The 3 Top Tips Summary
12:24 - Advice if you're scared of networking?
14:00 - Wear Some Icebreakers
17:51 - The Heel To Toe of Networking - Free Gift

Transcription:

Bill Doyle: (00:01)
Hi everyone, this is Bill Doyle and welcome to the podcast for today, brought to you by Altitude Communications

Today I'm interviewing, who I would refer to as an amazing collaborator and an expert when it comes to networking. And today's topic is, How to Quickly Boost Business Through Collaboration.

So I'm really lucky to have with me Lisa Sweeney, and Lisa is the CEO of Business in Heels, which is an amazing organisation that actually connects and helps over 160,000 women on a global basis of which quite a large number of them are located in Australia.
So, welcome Lisa.

Lisa Sweeney: (00:45)
Thanks Bill, it's great to be here.

Bill Doyle: (00:49)
Thanks so much for your time in sharing some of these incredible tips in I know you're about to share, could you just explain to me a little bit about Business in Heels and who you help?

Lisa Sweeney: (00:58)
Yeah, absolutely. So Business in Heels is all about empowering women in business and we work to fast track them on their road to success. And we do that in four different ways. So, marketing, education, connection and mentoring. And today, no matter which way we look at it, women in business aren't equal and they're not getting a fair go, and so part of what we do is try and arrest two really concerning things. One about women starting businesses and failing and the other is about making sure women retire and are financially secure.

Lisa Sweeney: (01:36)
So they're kind of our goals and what we try and do. And so we work both locally and globally, and in many different locations we have a branch director on the ground, who's in charge of keeping the community going and helping you get connected.

3 Main Questions

Bill Doyle: (01:49)
So Lisa, there's three main questions that we're going to get through today for our listeners, and you're in an absolute position to do this because you're not only a strategic connector, but you also a mentor on this topic and you also speak about this nationally and internationally.

Bill Doyle: (02:04)
So the first question is, the importance of asking for help and surrounding yourself with like-minded people, how important do you think that is and what are some strategies that you would use to help do that?

The Importance of Asking for Help

Lisa Sweeney: (02:17)
Yeah, fantastic. Look, I think asking for help is really, really important. And it's really interesting because we see this a lot, particularly with women that they are so hell-bent on looking out for their family and their kids, that they have no hesitation when asking for help for somebody else. And when it comes to themselves, they often are reluctant feeling that they need to be in control in some way and knowing everything about everything and you just can't possibly.

Lisa Sweeney: (02:47)
Business today is complex and no one can be an expert in everything. So, surrounding yourself with experts, asking experts for advice when you get stuck, and making it situational.

So, one of the key things I find is not necessarily going to talk-fests, but going to workshops where you can actually workshop your situation. It's far more practical and far more effective for me than just going to the talk-fest. So I find that really beneficial.

Lisa Sweeney: (03:21)
And then some of my other techniques are when I meet new people, I know I don't know everything about everything, absolutely don't, and I come across more people than most, and some of the things when I meet an expert for the first time, I'll ask them what tips they would have for new business owners. And quite often in what they tell me, I learn that I really have no clue and start asking them more questions.

I also ask them what tips they might have for me to be more productive because new things are coming up all the time. And quite often it's in those conversations that I realise that I really don't know what I don't know, which sounds incredible, and yet it's that ability to recognise, "Oh gosh, I have no idea about Blockchain. It's a great example.." That came up the other day and I realised I didn't know anything about it, but I'm lucky enough to have an expert working for me, so she gave me a great overview of it and three or four helpful tips and strategies on how I could learn a little bit more about it, so great example.

Bill Doyle: (04:33)
I see this all the time, it's such good advice. People are experts at everything and masters of none. And what I got from just that one tip, Lisa, was people love talking about themselves and why not ask their opinion, particularly if they're an expert, they'd be willing to share it with you, how much gold is in there.

Fit Your Own Mask First

Bill Doyle: (04:54)
And the second thing that I got from that as well, was the old saying, fit your own mask first. And with our business Altitude Communications, it's ironic because you get into an aeroplane situation, and what's the first thing they tell you if there's an emergency, fit your own mask first, so that you can help others, so fantastic advice, thanks.

What Advice would you give to help Overcome Overwhelm?

Bill Doyle: (05:22)
So, moving on to the second tip, Lisa, which I find fascinating, because I find it's one of the biggest stumbling blocks for entrepreneurs and business owners alike, and that's overwhelm. So what advice would you give for overcoming overwhelm, using some of the latest strategies that you've discovered globally, and also how to connect with your ideal collaboration partner?

Your SuperPower

Lisa Sweeney: (05:50)
There's a few questions in that. So look, one of the interesting things is that we see so many people are overwhelmed because they feel they have to be masters of everything. So I think the first thing you really need to decide is what is your superpower? Because that's the thing that you're great at. That's the thing that you do with ease. And so if you can focus most of your time should be spent doing what your superpower is, and that will be delivering your business.

Source Experts & Outsource

Lisa Sweeney: (06:20)
The second thing you've got to decide is, what other key supporting thing do you need to learn about? And it might be sales, it might be marketing, it might be about your cash-flow. So once you've decided on those two things, you really need to outsource the rest of stuff. You need to find out all those things that you need to know about and make sure they're outsourced. But don't waste your time learning how to do them or the minutiae of it, because it really will drive you into overwhelm. So that's my first point.

Bill Doyle: (06:54)
Yeah, totally. And in fact, Lisa has invited me to speak as an expert in practicing what she preaches, in the upcoming event held in Melbourne. Now Lisa holds these summits nationally, currently in Sydney, Melbourne, and other locations to be disclosed later.

But interestingly Lisa, one of my topics there, is automation. And just getting back onto the two key takeaways I got from that, which I love, was the superpower, Discover Your Superpower, I call it your genius, or your inner genius, and then taking all the rest of the other things that you're not really good at or you're okay at, and either delegating or automating. So delegate and automate and find your genius. I guess that's my take on that.

Collaboration

Lisa Sweeney: (07:42)
Absolutely. And then we were talking about collaboration. So, you asked me a question about, who do we collaborate with? So, collaboration is all about finding people who've got the same clients as you. And that way they can be selling you to their clients and vice versa.

Matching Your Values

Lisa Sweeney: (08:01)
So collaborators need to also have the same values as you. That's really important because you don't want to be representing someone who you don't trust or believe in. And so it takes a little while to form these relationships.

Think Outside The Box

It's quite interesting when you say collaborators and same clients, people immediately jump to the obvious. So the obvious ones might very well be, if you're an accountant, it could be a bookkeeper or a lawyer, a conveyancer, they're your obvious ones, but the not so obvious ones are equally important and quite often can yield amazing results.

And so the not so obvious ones might be that you have high clients of high net worth that you want to be an accountant for and you do their Self Managed Super Funds. So where else might you find these? Well it might be in the local luxury car dealer, it might be with a stylist, it might be with a high-end designer, it might be someone who does luxury travel. So again, just thinking a little bit out of the box can give you some very interesting and great relationships.

One New Quality Connection = 200 Potential Connections

Bill Doyle: (09:12)
Absolutely, I've experienced that and I'm sure the people listening have experienced this, where sometimes the hidden treasure is actually behind the person that you've just met. And I fall into that trap myself so many times thinking, "This person is an ideal client, totally oblivious and unaware of the 200 plus people that they're connected to and who they could introduce me to." So that was a really valuable tip, thanks for that.

Bill Doyle: (09:40) Matching Your Values
And also the values. I see so many people just chasing the business and forgetting about the value match, which is what we had in common and why we collaborated together, was there are matching values, that seemed to be such a critical factor?

Know, Like and Trust - Your Key to Join Venture Relationships...

Lisa Sweeney: (09:56)
Yeah, absolutely. And if you're going to essentially promote that person, you've got to be able to like and trust them and eventually that's what leads to joint ventures because you both have the same sort of values, and I guess at the end of it, you deliver the same sort of service to the same clients. And that's really important because if they're not happy, then who has a business, right?

Bill Doyle: (10:22)
Yeah, totally, and it comes down to that old adage of, Know, Like and Trust, so really valuable advice, thanks for that.

Time-Tested Framework

Bill Doyle: (10:30)
And lastly, Lisa, you've also come up with some proven time tested frameworks. Just a very simple framework that could help our listeners accelerate their success with pretty little or no effort. Just to get started on, what advice would you give us there and what tips have you got?

Lisa Sweeney: (10:49)
Yeah, sure. So a really simple thing to do is to find five collaborators with the same clients as you in a mix of both the obvious and the not so obvious, and simply you promote them to your clients and they promote you to theirs, you share their testimonials and your business will grow exponentially.

Givers Get
Lisa Sweeney: (11:13)
Just think of that, five new sales people. Amazing, right? And so in doing that, there's three key things that you just need to get right. As I said, the collaborators, having that mix of obvious and not so obvious, you really have to give to get. And so making sure you are the first person in that relationship to give a referral, makes them just want to reciprocate and give you ones back.

Listen, listen and then listen even more...

Lisa Sweeney: (11:40)
And the third point is all about listening. Listen, listen and listen some more. So ask great questions and then sit back and listen.

The 3 Top Tips Summary

Bill Doyle: (11:50)
Three great tips, and as promised, really simple.
Number one, approach the obvious and not so obvious.
Number two, give is get.
Number three, be an exceptional listener.

Bill Doyle: (12:01)
And it's really interesting Lisa, because a lot of clients that come through to Altitude kind of go, "Well, how do I sell?" And your advice on asking intelligent questions and being able to listen, and the one thing that I've learned too is, people who are giving anything more, is their opinion.

Lisa Sweeney: (12:24)
Exactly.

What advice would you give to someone who's scared of networking?

Bill Doyle: (12:25)
So that's absolute gold. Just off the cuff, Lisa, this wasn't planned to talk about, but I'm just really curious, what advice would you give to someone who's scared of networking? Because I find a lot of people appear not to be.

But I know when I first went to my first networking event or a summit, that I just didn't know who to approach and how to approach them. And then when I did and they said, "What is it that you do?" I stumbled at that point, and now we've pinned it down to a fine art. But what advice would you give to someone who's met someone for the first time and introducing themselves?

Lisa Sweeney: (13:00)
Well, just to backtrack a little bit, lots of people are scared about networking because they feel that they're going to be on show.

So the first point you have to get across is that everybody else is in the same boat, right?
So what you need to focus on is that if everybody else is feeling the same way, what would they really like?

If someone came up and actually chatted to them, well then they're not focusing so much on them, they're focusing on you. So by actually approaching them, you're helping them.

So that's the first point. It's a mindset shift. If you look at it like a box of chocolates, every time you meet someone, you're going to hear an amazing story.

What is that story going to be? Again, it's not about you, it's about helping that person and hearing something great. Then, most people aren't so scared.

Go Prepared and Wear Some Icebreakers

Lisa Sweeney: (14:00)
The other key tips that I have for people are just to go prepared. So, have a couple of icebreakers, and usually we suggest that you wear icebreakers. So, maybe you've got on an amazing necklace, not for you Bill, tie, or something that really stands out.

And then you can make a little talking point of it. It could be of your favourite necklace that your grandmother gave you and it has great sentimentality, and you're quite comfortable talking about it, because then you're not talking about yourself. And so it could be anything like that.

Lisa Sweeney: (14:38)
Another key point could be just to come prepared to tell people how you help others.
So again, you're not talking about what you do, you're actually talking about a client. So I would say immediately, "I love helping people about education."

So this is how to fill your pipeline with referrals. "And I had this woman the other day and we had a great conversation, and she had her particular ... " and you got to tell the story right, so you telling this great story about the hurdle she had to overcome and what the outcome was. And again, you're not talking about you, you're talking about her. So again, it takes that whole fear factor away. So just some really helpful little tips about networking, because obviously that's what we love helping people get over.

Bill Doyle: (15:26)
My biggest takeaway there was, buy some pink high heels and wear them to the next summit that I'm speaking in. Is that what you're telling me?

Lisa Sweeney: (15:34)
Yeah, yeah, or the red suit. So that we can't miss you.

Bill Doyle: (15:39)
Great takeaways there too, Lisa. Number one was, have a different mindset, be helpful, go on with a different attitude of stop being nervous and think, "Hey, I'm going to learn some really cool stuff about this person." And just go on with the mindset of being helpful, being willing to listen while they share their story, and also, the really cool tip about having a conversation point physically. The scarf, the shirt, the dress. And I know with myself when I connect with your audience, I wear a pink shirt. It's just a little bit different and it helps connect with your audience, and that certainly helped.

It's just little things that can make a message shift.

Bill Doyle: (16:13)
But the big thing there was mindset, Lisa, and at your last event that I spoke at in Sydney, you had an amazing keynote speaker, as you always do, Jane Flemming, and she pointed out, and I remember that she put up on the screen, some world class athletes, and she said very clearly, "What do they all have in common?"

And it was really interesting because she was asking the audience and the audience came back with things like, focus, determination, willingness. And she said no to all of them. And that really struck a cord with me. And she said, "No, they've got one thing in common, they're all calm." And that really stood out because they had a confidence of calmness. They weren't overwhelmed, yet they're in the finals of the 100 metres at the Olympic Games, it was really interesting. And because they went in prepared. So what you're saying is, be prepared, be focused on them not you, and be willing to ask some intelligent questions and engage with them with the potential that we're going to do some collaboration, yeah?

Lisa Sweeney: (17:27)
Exactly.

Bill Doyle: (17:28)
Which is a great theme, what we're actually talking about, How To Quickly Boost Business Through Collaboration. And I think you've absolutely delivered on that today, so thanks so much, Lisa.

Bill Doyle: (17:41)
Speaking of which, I know that you've got some free gifts, you said, "Give is get." So, can you explain what we're giving away to all our listeners today.

Free Gift - The Heel To Toe of Networking,

Lisa Sweeney: (17:51)
Yes. So on our website, www.businessinheels.com, we have The Heel To Toe of Networking, which is an eBook which will take you through a whole lot of these steps and help you along the way.

For those of you who really don't like eBooks, we've also got, How To Network With Confidence, which is a free video course, and you can watch that at your leisure.

Lisa Sweeney: (18:19)
And then for those of you who really want to go to the next step, and we've worked out a course built up over lots of feedback from 160,000 strong community, it's all about how to fill your pipeline full of referrals, and it takes you through everything from developing your target market, to how to collaborate to actually create time for yourself, how to set up an automation around testimonials and how to fill that pipeline.

So, we are happy to give away one of those courses, which is valued at $59 to all your listeners free, just to get them going and maybe give them some valuable stuff that they can really use in their business.

Bill Doyle: (19:01)
Awesome. Practicing what you preach, got to love that, thanks so much. So in wrapping this up, Lisa, I'm going to ask the audience listening one question, and I think it's an intelligent question.

What is your experience, what did you want to share, and how did that make you feel? What was your biggest takeaway from the advice that an expert was giving you today?

Lisa Sweeney.
Share it, comment below, like it, get it out there, and let's send the message to other like-minded professionals. Believe me, they're going to thank you for it. So click the share button, send it to them and get it out to as many people as possible, because it's all in the name of helping others.

My name's Bill Doyle, hope you enjoyed today's podcast. I've been with Lisa Sweeney, the CEO of Business in Heels. Thanks so much for your time today, Lisa.

Lisa Sweeney: (19:54)
Thanks Bill, it's been a pleasure.

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Learn more about upcoming Business In Heels Events Here and remember to  and download your FREE Copy of The Heel To Toe of Networking while you are there.

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