Zig Ziglar’s shares the obvious, but important to be reminded, and perhaps not reminded enough, regarding the necessity of being a King or Queen networker.
Dress to be the best:
Zig talks about how dress has become so casual that business owners are starting to underestimate the importance of it. In Southern California I find it fairly rare that people wear ties, however, I do wear a good suit or sport coat when meeting with executives and important decision makers, especially for the first time.
Always have them, ready to go along with brochures. I do this out of habit, whether I’m at lunch or during an evening social event. Inevitably someone will ask for your card or ask what you do. If you have a business card and brochure, at the ready, your potential client or business partner will be even more impressed.
Yes, avoid them at all costs. In a relatively negative world, people want to hear things that make them happy. Positive and uplifting comments or what I like to call my “dark humor” goes a long way. If I’m thinking something negative I turn it into a joke or a witty comment to make the person laugh. It’s just common sense. Any person, that includes a customer or business partner, will want to see you more if you make them laugh, make them feel comfortable or at ease, and are helpful towards their mission.
Smile, nod, and act appreciative. People want to talk about themselves. Customers with big budgets don’t care about you or what you have to say about yourself because they already have a million vendors trying to convince them to buy and do what they want. So, give it a rest. Listen to them, their lives, their concerns, and their work challenges. Problem solvers and listeners get paid. If you are talking over someone, speaking one-uppers, and trying to convince someone your point of view is more correct then you should consider getting out of sales.
Following up – the little things that go a long way:
Hand written thank you cards with a personal note. I continue to try to do this on a regular basis, but given the high tech age with social media, email, texts, twitter, and more, a good old fashioned hand written note goes a long way!