Kochie's Business Builders, Yahoo!7
8 October 2014
Mentors are vital for small business owners: they inspire with valuable advice and will guide you to make smarter, informed decisions.
At Nexba we believe that engaging mentors to learn from their expertise is not only integral to accelerating business growth, but is also important for personal development as managers and leaders.
Nexba has undergone massive growth since our launch in 2011- we’re now the fastest growing beverage brand in the petrol and convenience sector- and we credit part of this success to our relationships with key thinkers and influencers.
Our mantra is simple: surround yourself with the best, and your business will thrive. But how did we secure the best in the biz to guide us?
Here are the Nexba Four Steps for approaching a mentor:
Make sure when you reach out to a potential mentor that you are transparent about why you are connecting.
For example, “Hi, My name is Troy and I am currently looking to expand my business overseas. Being transparent, I really admire what you have achieved in the US, and I would love to hear your story. I am keen to meet at your convenience to pick your brains... Is this something you are open to?”
Remember, transparency from the start will ensure neither party are under the wrong impression and you can prepare with clear intentions.
Step 2: Prepare
Respect your potential mentor’s time by having a pre-understanding of how they might aid you. Before you approach a mentor, you need to ask yourself what you are hoping to learn and have an understanding of key outcomes.
Show them you are genuinely interested in their story by acknowledging one or two key career milestones, and ask smart related questions.
This shows that you are aware of, and respect their achievements and will open a dialogue for a more valuable conversation.
Remember, key influencers are often time poor, so you may only have one encounter to build rapport.
Step 3: Build Rapport
During your meeting, build rapport by sharing your story in an authentic and personal way. Sharing key insights about your career and business will build genuine interest and help your mentor tailor advice to suit your needs.
Remember, transferring your energy and excitement about your business to the prospective mentor is key. Never under value the impact that your passion and ‘go and get it’ attitude will have on those you meet.
Step 4: Set out clear actions and next steps
Don’t hesitate to finish your catch up with clear next steps. This may include setting a date for your next meeting.
You should check whether they are happy for you to re-approach them down the track. Simply saying, “Is it ok if I email you for another coffee in a few months? I would love to update you on how we are going” is a direct and respectful way to show that you want to continue the relationship.
Remember, sharing a milestone or good outcome as a result of your meeting is a honest and great tool for re-connecting.