Are you an Advocate?

"You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you." - Dale Carnegie

We all need advocates.

It helps us sell our services, run our teams and ..well, its good that somebody thinks we are worth talking about!

I was leaving my local lunch restaurant in Shanghai today, stepped out into the brilliant sunshine, walked across the road, braving the usual mad traffic, when a voice called out from behind me,

" Oi!"

Now in Shanghai that means either:

1. A fake Rolex watch hawker.

2. A fake beggar (hiding his real Rolex watch); or

3. A guy with a computer bag trying to sell you an IBM notebook.

You get the point, it's not really worth turning around in Shanghai if you hear, "Oi". But this time I did and was faced by two striking individuals, Italian looking and dressed to the nines.

They asked me what the restaurant I had just left was like. And here's my point on being an advocate. I could do one of two things:

1. Say, "Yeah it's ok. Try it out for yourself"; or

2. Lead them across the road, take them into the restaurant, introduce them to the owner, Nelson, and tell him to look after them.

Option 2 is the path of an advocate. Certainly, Nelson enjoyed the extra business, and will probably repay the service later. The Italian couple really loved the help, and who knows where that connection might lead in the future.

Being an advocate really is a great way to live. I love talking up my tailor, my spa, the massage guy, my designer etc. And they love it too! Find something you really believe in and talk it up. It will really come back to you hundred-fold.

Warwick John Fahy is an international speaker, seminar leader, professional speech coach and expert in presentation skills, public speaking and communication skills. You can contact him for more information. This blog was first published on ecademy on 26 April 2005: http://asiapacific.ecademy.com/node.php?id=45875.

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