What’s the one thing you need to know about selling, networking and… dating?
Let’s start with dating. When a man wants a woman to go out with him what does he do? He flatters her (telling her he likes her smile or that she’s the prettiest woman in the room). He asks her a question about herself and listens attentively as she talks about herself, looking into her eyes (he shows he is interested in her). He says something personal and funny and entertains her (the shortest line between two people is a laugh). He tells her something about the good things he has that she might benefit from (he dangles a carrot like his condo on the beach).He tells her a story (he let’s her know a little bit about who he is or what he thinks in a way that’s dramatic). He offers to take her somewhere she wants to go (he picked up on it in the conversation-he was looking for an ‘in’). He asks for her phone number (he’s lettings her know he would enjoy her company in the future). And he calls her …quickly! (He wants her to know he’s excited about her).
In short, he makes her feel very good about herself.
What does a woman do when she wants to move forward? She looks at the man and smiles a lot (affirming she is interested), she laughs a lot (affirming he is witty) she agrees a lot (affirming he is brilliant) she asks questions and listens attentively (affirming he is fascinating) and she listens as he talks about himself. (Signaling she is enjoying his company).
In short, she makes him feel very good about himself.
We call this flirting. Change the words and call it selling or networking.
Here’s the magic secret: Make people feel very good about themselves!
If you make people feel very good about themselves they’ll do business with you (and keep on coming back for more)! Forgotten how to flirt? Here’s how you do it (in business):
- Flatter. Let folks know you are impressed. Acknowledge their achievements, talents and strengths. Make them feel important.
- Listen deeply. Be a sponge for information. Find out what‘s important to them. Ask: How is the economy affecting your business? And other questions…and listen and learn about how you can be of help.
- Laugh. Be genuine. Drop the stuffy stuff. Lighten up. Be warm and personal. Connect. Have some fun with the person you’re with. Have a tag line that short, sweet and amusing.
- Keep eye contact. Nothing is worse then being at an event with someone who is looking for their next prospect while talking to you.
- Smile. Affirm your interest in them with your body language. Show you are positive and happy (who wants to do business with someone who is down and out?).
- Don’t interrupt. Make that person feel every word they are saying is precious pearl of wisdom.
- Question. Get them talking about what they feel proud of. Ask: How did you get started in your business? What makes your business different? What do you most enjoy about it?
- Promise. Let folks know what wonderful things they can expect from you. Make sure it fulfills their dream or solves their problem. Make an appealing BIG promise that speaks to their need. Don’t “product puke”. Just let them know how you can help.
- Tell a story. Don’t be boring! Entertain as you educate. Make the story one that evokes emotion and defines what you do. A good one gets a “WOW!” Touch the heart and reach the mind and that’s what you’ll hear.
- Ask permission to call. Define your next step. Make sure you don’t push yourself in where there is no invitation. Don’t lose that card. It’s gold in your pocket.
- Make an offer they can’t refuse. Invite them to have a wonderful experience. Offer what your customers long for and they’ll say yes.
- Follow up fast. Don’t wait for folks to contact you. Show you’re enthusiastic about helping them.
Deliver on your promises (And don’t stop doing the little things you did in the beginning; keep the flowers chocolate and champagne going!)… and the romance will last!