Common Sense for Founders – Part Two

Lady and hand (540x361)Business is about dealing with people, so developing a few soft skills to complement your technical expertise comes in handy when starting a company.  Here is a little common sense for the road:

  1. Pick up the phone.  All the interpretation, miscues and delays on email and text can easily be resolved with a quick phone call to clarify a meeting objective or next step. There’s nothing inappropriate about lobbing a quick call – if the person is busy, they won’t answer.
  1. Ask questions. Instead of bracing for an interrogation, or stressing about expectations for a presentation, make it your job to ask good questions that buy you time and protect you from landmines.  Inquiring minds show intelligence, interest, and desire for a relationship.
  1. Get a Yes.  A small “yes” is better than a big “no”.  Move the relationship forward with small asks that can get a positive response until you get the “Big Yes” (a sale or investment).
  1. Just like dating.  Use some intrigue to lure in your prospect.  Don’t be too needy or give away all your secrets too early.
  1. Give back.  Do you think people are helping you just because they like you or feel spiritually compelled to mentor, or that they should help you because they’ve already been successful? Get over it – figure out their interest and meet it, or be prepared for the gravy train to end before you’ve gotten your free ride.
  1. Look in the mirror.  If colleagues aren’t working out, it’s not just because they are stupid and lazy.  Reflect on how your ability to motivate and lead can impact the results you get from those around you.
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