All of the cool marketing tools technology provides us are awesome and all, but one-on-one interaction remains the best way to build trust in a hurry.
In a recent article in some social media magazine stated that, even though we as humans are closely connected now more than ever, we have grossly refrained from physical interaction. We seem to hide behind the safety of our inbox, status updates, tweets and cell phones. While these are all amazing ways to share information with the masses, they will never replace a good old-fashioned firm handshake accompanied by a dose of solid eye contact.
Based on this latest boom in introverted behavior, I want to provide you with my top ten actions that can rapidly repel any first time interaction with a new client, potential customer or anyone whose initial impression could increase your chances for success.
WARNING: The following are listed in no particular order, but I would refrain from doing any of them, unless you never want to hear from that person again.
Nothing drives me crazy like holding a conversation with someone who continually checks their phone for new text messages. You’re telling me that I’m not the focus of your attention.
Seriously?! I know yawning can be an involuntary action , but at least have the decency to cover your mouth and try to hold back the sound effects. Drink a cup of coffee or pound a Red Bull before your meeting if you’ve had problems with this in the past.
Maintaining eye contact during conversation is difficult for some people, but the eyes tell the real story behind your pitch. If you are trying to sell someone on a product, service, or idea you must sell with your eyes first. Failure to do so will give the prospect the upper hand, and ultimate authority in the buying process.
Always dress for success! I know there are some books out there that instruct you to never dress better than your prospect, but I’m here to tell you that’s crap. Suits sell…period. A well dressed man or woman will always perform better, feel more confident, and make more money than those who roll out too casual.
Alcohol makes the pitch easier. I understand its ability to calm you down or boost your confidence, but understand that it will have the reverse impact if you consume it in excess. Always let your prospects order a drink first. If they go the beer route, then feel free to indulge. If they order a tall glass of water, play it safe, and save the brew for later.
This happened to me the other day, I was talking to someone about a topic that I was passionate about, and with me in mid-sentence, they jerked their head around to say hello to another person passing us by. Do you think I was exuding the same passion when their attention was refocused? Nope.
I shouldn’t really have to explain this one, but I’ll toss a sentence or two out there for post continuity. You can grind on your nails like my yellow lab in the privacy of your home. Never work your nails down to nubs while speaking with a potential customer. Even worse, after you had your second helping of nail nibbles, never reach across the table and shake my hand. C’mon man!
This may be a personal pet-peeve, but unless you are a woman, leave the flip-flops in the closet if you have a business meeting. One, it doesn’t go well with a suit, and two, the person you’re trying to impress does not want to see your hairy toe knuckles. Save that kind of attire for your next Jimmy Buffett concert!
A man’s finger nails should be neatly trimmed and clean. Your hands are the second most noticeable part of your body after your face. If you wouldn’t attend a meeting with mud on your chin, why would you show up with dirt under your nails? It’s the details that make the difference.
I saved the best for last! God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. If you get in the habit of listening more than you talk, you’ll be surprised by how much valuable information is given away for FREE. Plus, the person who speaks the most, tends to, in their mind, feel the most important. In sales, that needs to be your customer…not you.
If I offended anyone, or you feel slighted in any way by this list, it’s probably because you have committed one of these ten in the past. And that’s fine! You can learn from your mistakes.
And now you know why all of your sales meeting went bust in under 30 minutes 🙂
P.S. Don’t ever think that someone is better than you! Have confidence in your abilities. That alone will be the greatest sales weapon in your arsenal! ~Andy #themarketingguy
photo credit: slworking2 via photopin cc