Last week a client told me how something I said in one of my workshops indirectly led to his departure from his position at the time. In a referrals strategy session I asked whether you are more likely to refer someone who visibly believes in the company and the product or service they advance. It was clear from the feedback that an obvious passion for the business makes a big difference to how referable that business is.
After the session my client was approached by a close colleague who simply said, "You don't believe in this company, do you?" At that point, his mind was set on a change.
Many speakers and authors will talk about the importance of passion in business, myself included, but sometimes that can be a hard concept to grasp when the business is not yours. If you're in a sales role in someone else's business, how can you be passionate about their services, when you may well be offering something else next week?
That belief can make a huge difference to whether people buy from you or recommend you though, as the responses during my workshop indicated.
On the same day as my meeting with my client, in New York the team from the global community Sandbox were holding a 'superpower' brainstorming session. The session was facilitated by Mathias Vestergaard, who asked the group to share a time when they met someone who was very passionate. What happened and what did they look like?
Niamh Hughes from Sandbox shared the results of their discussions on Facebook, and it was very interested to see their perceptions of passion represented in the following diagram:
When you talk about your business and the products or services you are selling, how passionate are you? Does your face light up when talking about work? Are you smiling? Are you full of energy? Is your voice full of purpose?
If not then others may not feel that you believe in what you are doing and what you are saying. And if you don't believe, then why should anyone else?
Think of the most passionate people you know in business. What do they do to stand out from the crowd? And what can you learn from them?