In today’s business world we all have similar challenges – we want more sales, more clients, a larger database, more profit and the question is, “how do we make it happen?” In my opinion, it all starts with relationships. How you treat others, how you speak with others, how do you interact with others are all actions that you take every day that require continuous analysis. Once analyzed, take the time to enhance and improve on these important skills to be successful.
The analogy of – people do business with people they know, like and trust is an adage that goes back several decades. What must you do to have this happen to you?
First, be an excellent listener. Be engaged, my eye contact, lean forward, and take notes – be interested, not interesting and people will respond in kind. Remember their name – it is music to their ears.
Next, avoid the “me” monster – ask questions, pause before responding, find common ground and build upon that common ground. Take extra time with people, don’t rush people, ignore people or treat them poorly – this will have a long lasting negative impression upon them. Remember, it is all about them – not you. You want them to feel good about the interaction with you and want more.
Also, remember to be observant – recognize their style of dress, artwork in the office or home, memorabilia, pictures of places, friends or family, the car they drive, etc. that will give you clues about how they are as individuals. These clues about who they are and what they enjoy will help you build upon your relationship with them.
Compliment them when appropriate. People love to receive accolades for a job well done or on their personal appearance or style. Be careful not to overdo it or it will come across as insincere.
Be positive and keep an open mind to learn something new every day. By learning something new, you get the opportunity to teach or help someone else with their situation.
If you take these skills, couple them with dressing the part and build upon them with what my friend Hilary Fordwich calls the 5 C’s you will gain more business, get more referrals, have more profits and in the end, enjoy more success.
Her 5 C’s are:
Communication. Buy in your language, sell to them in theirs. Never start emails with I. Use their name often. Be visual versus internal.
Candor. Be open and honest. If you make a mistake, admit it. If you don’t know something, tell your client you don’t know but you will find out. Be a straight shooter. Do not use the following terms – to be honest with you, let me be frank with you or to tell you the truth. Being honest builds credibility and trust.
Concern. Empathize with your clients. It is about your clients and their needs not yours. Show you truly care by going above and beyond the call of duty. Understand their situation and where they stand.
Competence. Know how to tailor your service to meet their needs. Know your business, its trends, and the numbers and know how to communicate it with your clients.
Connection. Find common ground to neutralize differences. Ask the right questions both personal and professional ones to learn more about them.
The more you rehearse these skills, the more you incorporate them into your daily routines, the more you and your business will grow. Get it? Got it? Good!