So often the personal aspects of creating a positive, successful business relationship are overlooked.
Multi-national corporate giants, successful entrepreneurial companies, and all other major conglomerates have one thing in common. No, it is not money, though this is something they all seem to have abundance of. It is something that you will find if you trace the roots of the business back to its origins. It all started with one individual who know how to sell him/herself.
Anyone can sell a product. It’s very simple. What you get is what you see. The prospective buyer can look at it, touch it, compare it to other similar products, and buy it if he/she so chooses. The seller simply talks about it to the customer. A service works the same way. The salesperson makes a presentation, states the pros of the service, what it can do for the consumer, and makes the sale.
Selling yourself however, is a little more involved. No two people are identical in every aspect, so no one really knows what to expect from them. You cannot sell by appearance. At the same time, you cannot sell yourself by experience either. Oh, that will get you a bite, but it will not hook the fish. One might stretch the truth a bit about their experience, and the buyer will know that. So how does one sell him/herself successfully? There are several different methods when utilized simultaneously will produce very positive results.
1) First impressions: First impressions do matter. Actually, this is the most important part of the whole process of establishing a positive relationship. Regardless if your meeting is via email, online messenger, or in person, that first two minutes of your confrontation will be the most helpful or harmful. Make that initial contact work! Do not kiss up, be professional, and be courteous. Act interested in this person in regards to whatever subject they are most fascinated with. Make it about them, not you. People want to be impressive. If you act impressed, but not childish, they will respond positively.
2) Your Client has Priority: You may have two thousand clients and you may only have five or six. Regardless, whatever individual you are dealing with at any given moment needs to feel like they are your most important client.
3) One Hundred and Ten Percent: Of course, there is no such concept. You can only give one hundred percent, as that is all there is. However, you can give one hundred percent of what the individual is paying for and then give ten percent for free. This brings us to the next topic.
4) CARE! If you are in a business where you are only interested in making money and have no regard for the quality of your work or the welfare of the client, then your business is inevitably doomed for failure. You have to want your client to grow, to excel in his or her own business, for yours to grow. Remember, word of mouth is one of the best, and most damaging, forms of marketing. If you get a reputation for poor quality work, again you are headed for failure.
5) Availability: Try to be available to the customer at least a minimum of 8 hours per day, and even in the evenings if possible. People want to know that they can reach you at a moments notice without having a long wait. Waiting makes people irritable and stressed. This, in turn, puts a lot of stress on a professional relationship.
6) Be Personal: You will get more business out of friends than you will from business associates. The remedy for this issue is to make the business associates your friends. Do not be overwhelmingly intrusive and ask all sorts of questions at your initial contact. However, if the associate mentions an aspect of his life, such as his favorite food, drink, existence of children, etc, make a mental note. Let us take children for example. Let’s say your associate mentions that he has to leave early to take his daughter to the doctor for a cough. Take note of that and next time you speak with them, ask about the daughters health. Is she okay? Then, associate your life with theirs. Something like, “She’s going to be okay? That is great. I know what you are going through. My daughter just got over a stomach virus.” You get to know them and they get to know you. Eventually, a relationship is formed and your business benefits.
7) Take Notes: Nothing will sell you better than the sudden realization that you have noticed your associates’ life. If you find out that your associate has a birthday coming up, send a card and a small gift, such as a box of chocolates, a beautiful pen, etc. If their child has a recital or a game in the near future, send a “good luck” card. Do not go too far and show up at the game; just let them know that you care enough to send a card. If it is special enough for your client to mention, then it should be special to you. Keep up with birthdays, favorite flowers, favorite drinks, television shows, and anything else that your associate is interested in.
If an aspiring businessperson can realize that they are the true product, learn the ins and outs of making themselves invaluable, then the actual product or service will be a successful sell.