Last week I was taking advantage of a beautiful day in Georgia and decided to go for a walk through our trails. Our trails go through open areas and through the woods.
Georgia has snakes, including poisonous ones.
As I was walking, I was scanning the ground in front of me and beside me for snakes. I have a very strong dislike for all snakes, but I especially didn’t want to sneak up on a poisonous one!
What I did sneak up on was a turkey, who flew off the ground, screeching like a crazy bird just a few feet from me!! It snuck up on me, too. I didn’t even see it.
I was scanning the ground, and it was in my view, so why hadn’t I seen it?
I was so focused on finding snakes, that I didn’t see the big brown turkey.
Too much focus on one thing happens in our businesses, too, and can be devastating – both emotionally and financially.
Have you ever had a sales conversation in which you were so focused on closing the sale that you ultimately didn’t – and you have no idea why? After all, it was a great conversation. You had a good vibe going – or so you thought. And then the prospect said no.
You had to have that sale.
“Now what?” you think.
In this case, the solution would be to divide your focus during the call, paying attention not only to closing the sale (which can cause you to view the prospect as another “notch” in your financial belt), but also looking beyond the sale to connecting emotionally with the prospect as a person.
Paying attention to the sales portion of the conversation isn’t ‘bad,’ anymore than watching out for snakes is bad. It’s the hyper-focus that can get you into trouble, because you then take our eyes off other, equally important things. Check out my Strategic Business Building podcast where several guests talk about sales conversations.
Maybe you’ve been to a networking event and were focused on collecting as many business cards as you could – or passing out as many business cards as you could – and you never really connected with anyone there. You left the event feeling like it was a waste of time. Yes, you collected cards (or passed out cards), but it didn’t get you anywhere.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with collecting and sharing business cards. But in the current business environment, we’re all a bit tired and wary of the whole ‘business card/networking/elevator speech’ scene, and our radars are finely tuned to identify who is genuinely interested in real connections and who is only hunting for personal advancement.
By focusing on business cards, you missed out on the real value of networking events: human connection and relationship building. At your next networking event, see how many new, genuine friends you can make!
Another one I see quite often is being so focused on posting on social media, yet not taking the time to network there and share other valuable content, too! This kind of focus can work against you because prospects, customers and potential business partners expect more from you than just frequent posts; they want to know that you have something valuable to share, and they want a relationship with you, as well. The one-way communication on social media can be a strong turn off.
Here’s a tip: do a quick audit of your last six months of social media posts to determine if your posts are valuable and interesting to your audience, and what your level of engagement is with them.
- Is your content getting likes and are you having conversations with your followers in the comments?
- What kinds of posts get the most traction?
It’s a numbers game; the numbers tell the story. If you find that you’ve been hyper-focused on just ‘posting’ for the sake of posting rather than using the platforms for building real community, it’s not too late to change your approach!
Now that you know focus is NOT always a good thing, share with me below where focus has gotten you in trouble – either in your personal life or business—and what your strategy is for improvement!