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In one of my recent Continuing Education classes I had a Realtor tell me that they had never been in a class where the instructor actually told them NOT to sell. It was such a completely unheard of concept that she just had to remark on what a turnaround it was for her. To hear that she didn’t have to sell took a ton of pressure off of her shoulders. What a relief to know that selling someone wasn’t the goal!
Consider this: when you go networking, do you go because you want to buy something? Do you wake up that morning and think, “I’ve got to spend some money today”? Probably not!
When you are bombarded by someone trying to sell you something, how does it make you feel? Personally, I want to escape! I hate it when someone tricks me or corners me with their sales pitch. If they do this to me once, they’re unlikely to be afforded a second opportunity to talk to me because I will take epic measures to avoid them in the future.
If you are in the mood to shop what do you do? You hop on the Internet or head to the nearest store that sells what you are looking for. The one thing you don’t do is show up at a networking meeting hoping somebody will sell something to you.
We don’t go networking looking to buy so why would anybody show up trying to sell?
This has always baffled me! Wherever you go you will do better to just show up and start a few conversations and leave the “Sales Hat” at the office. Simply talk to people! It doesn’t even have to be about business!
If selling isn’t the goal, then what is? The goal is to start more conversations. See whom you connect with and keep the conversation going with those people by staying in touch. If you form a genuine, authentic relationship then you can talk business. They may not even be your customers but if the connection is real, they will talk about you and bring others to you. They will be your advocates!
Now that I’ve helped take away the pressure of making sales, it’ll be much easier to just go start those conversations!
When we listen and watch someone speak, we look for clues as to weather or not we believe or even like the speaker. A study done by Albert Mehrabian concluded that 7% percent of what we perceive comes from the actual words used, 38% comes from the vocal tone, and 55% comes from body language. It’s only when we communicate in the written form that the actual words play a crucial role in our message. Without hearing tone and visual clues, it’s much easier to misunderstand the words and meaning.
I recently went to a networking meeting and met several new people. There were 2 individuals whom I met that I instantly didn’t like. After giving some thought as to why I had come to such a quick conclusion about them, I realized it was their body language during our handshake. Even a simple introduction and handshake can tell a person a great deal about what you think of them. Yes, that quick, a decision was made that I don’t like or trust either of these individuals!
The first individual was a man who had entered the room and greeted several people and then sat down at a table. It was still during the meet and greet portion of the meeting so I walked around to the side of the table to meet him and said, “I haven’t gotten to meet you yet, my name is Kathryn”, and I extended my hand. He looked at me, (no smile), and extended his hand without standing up. He said his name and that was about it. I was totally uninterested at that point and just wanted to move on. Always stand up when you are shaking a persons hand. Standing conveys power, confidence and respect for the other person. I did find it interesting that at the end of the meeting he brought me his card and didn’t ask for mine.
The second individual was also a man. This happened at the end of the meeting where people were mingling. This man had come in a bit late so I didn’t get an opportunity to meet him before the meeting started. My boyfriend was talking to him and as I approached, he asked if we had met each other and we both said no so he introduced us. I extended my hand and as he reached for mine he started to gaze around the room and not make eye contact with me. This behavior is recognized as nervous or dismissive. I actually held onto his hand until he decided to look back at me. Of course some words were said along the lines of, “Nice to meet you”. It was a very uncomfortable greeting and not one that made me want to talk to him again in the future. We didn’t exchange cards.
In a split second opinions are formed, based on your body language, that can prevent you from ever moving forward in a relationship so be aware of the signals you are sending and pay attention to signals that people around you are giving you. You may realize that someone is just not your person and that’s okay. Don’t waste time with people that you don’t connect with on a basic level. A business relationship isn’t going to be pleasant or rewarding if you try to force it.
For a short body language demo, check out my recent video.
I used to start my day drinking a hot cup of coffee while I sent birthday greetings to my friends on Social Media. Now there is something else that must be done before I can get to the fun stuff. I have to un-tag and delete posts from my timeline from people who wish to use me for my connections on Social Media. Many of these people I have never even met, yet they feel we have such a great connection that they can place their ads on my wall! This is not cool. In fact, it’s downright rude!
Think of a Facebook timeline like personal property. You wouldn’t even consider placing a sign in your neighbors’ yard advertising your business would you? Would you ever presume placing one of those magnetic signs on your friends’ car with your logo on it to be okay? Of course not! It’s overstepping the boundaries of friendship. It’s disregarding their personal property. Social Media property should be treated the same way. If you abuse my friendship, I have the option to unfriend you and quite often do just that when I feel I’m being used.
If you continually use people this way, you will develop a reputation that will not be flattering. You are actually even branding yourself with this behavior. Etiquette is simply about mutual respect. If you have respect toward others then you have good manners.
Not too long ago I was in negotiations with an individual who asked me to teach one of my classes at his office. I’ll just say that we did not agree on my fee and left things on a professional note. A few days later, he posted on my timeline that he wished I’d come down on my fee so I could teach at his office. I was appalled! Business negotiations do not belong on Facebook. He told me a lot about himself at that point and I am no longer interested in doing business with him on any level. Now every time I see him I think about that incident. In my mind, that indiscretion is his brand.
Remember, what you do on Social Media is there for all to see. Don’t get into a knock-down drag-out with someone. It’s not worth it! Don’t be negative all the time. Trust me, the sky is not always falling. There are plenty of positive things to talk about. People are judging you based on the decisions you make and the posts you share. Make sure you are building the brand that you want to be known for and not one where people want to hide and escape from you.
What is okay to place on someone else’s timeline? Birthday wishes are awesome. It’s celebrating the other person and letting them know you care and celebrate them on their special day. If we’ve taken a photo together, please tag me in the photo. If you are saying something nice about me, please tag me! If you are recommending my business or service, tag away! I’ll be your friend forever! Do you get the theme here? When it’s only about you and your business, it only belongs on your wall/ timeline. When it’s about me or us, yes, I’m thrilled that you have thought of me.
The Golden Rule is timeless and applies to all we do, even on Social Media;
“Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you.”
FENG – The Financial Executive Networking Group