Over the past 4 episodes we have been covering the elements of the anagram glue. The G for genetics and how the way you look will have an immediate impact on people you are meeting for the 1st time. I shared with you just how simple it is to look your best at all times and what you can do to improve your genetic make-up.
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Our next letter was the letter L for likeability. Likeability is your natural charisma it is how you relate to and with the people you meet. How some people starting a conversation and being naturally likeable is easy and then for others, the natural reserved personality can be a hindrance. I shared with you some simple tips to overcoming natural nerves and becoming authentically likeable.
Then there was last week’s podcast where we discussed the letter U, for uniformity and consistency. The more uniform and consistent your brand, your message and your values, the easier it will be for others to be able to do business with you. To understand who you are and what you represents. Because once it becomes easy for someone else to sell you then success is assured when they know how to promote what you do.
This podcast I’ll be sharing with you how the letter E is the final instalment. The letter E stands for education and experience. And it wasn’t until I was putting my notes together for this session did I realise that under Education there is a 3rd letter E and that stands for Etiquette.
Before we get to etiquette let’s start by looking at how education can be of value. Well there is the obvious first port of call and that is the old school connection. Having gone to school or gone to the same school as a person automatically gives you something in common. And the whole conception of working with the idea of GLUE is to find connections. It is to find common ground to work from and having gone to the same school as someone is immediate connection. But now this is not going to be possible to use this connection all of the time because people go to clearly many many different schools and unless you did a short term in each school you’re not going to be able to own that connection.
What you can however do is the following. As you are building your client files, or you meet people, take the time to find out where they went to school. You never know when it will be advantageous to even say you knew someone who went to that school. People love to find a connection. So even if you didn’t go to that school to claim a friendship for a knowledge of someone who did can often be just enough to start the next phase of conversation.
And the same rings true for any sort of further education. Ideally having the same Alma Mater is beneficial but if not you will find simply having completed the same course or having the same qualifications can form a connection. So if you are probably wondering what do you do if you are not formally qualified. The last thing you do is you allow yourself to feel inferior. If you have the qualifications use them and discuss them. If you do not, listen with interest. If the person with whom you’re conversing with brings them up. continue otherwise find another topic area of relevance that you have common ground with. And that leads us into experience.
Experience in life can take many many different forms. Sporting associations as a participant or simply as a fan can not only forge many friendships it can also lead to many feuds should you be fans of opposing teams. The love of the sport alone though can bring people together.
In fact for many people a vibrant conversation surrounding sports, the merits of various coaches, training and teams is the healthy way to build a connection. Now have you happened to discover the both not only like the same sport but the same team and have identical views on the way the sport is being played many a business deal has been secured on the basis of a mutual respect for a game. It is not then surprising many large corporations will sponsor sport, teams and host the main clients to private sporting boxes and events. In fact I think many sports teams would fail it wasn’t the corporate marketing dollars that support them.
So whilst having a mutual appreciation of the sport can be extremely beneficial to you do not fear that if you do not like sports your business success will be limited. Your tribe will be elsewhere. Having said that, depending on your market, the people you trying to attract and the type of clientele that you want it could be very beneficial to know what is happening in the sporting pages of your local paper. This then links us back to education. Because it is important to continue your education and by that I’m not necessarily simply talking about your formal education. Again it will depend on the type of client that you wish to attract the to add to an element of your likeability, as we discussed earlier. You must be well read and up-to-date with current news and topics. As you will have heard in any program on business 101 or communication skills 101 never discuss topics of sex, religion or politics with an audience you do not know well.
Finally before we go back to education and etiquette on this program I’d like to add when it comes to experience, and possibly also look at this as an element of education, being a member of an association or a networking group can put you in a position to meet your ideal clientele in an environment that automatically gives you something in common. The more time you put into growing and nurturing your network the greater your business success will be hands down.
Let’s now look at the benefits and pitfalls of knowing or not knowing the basics of business etiquette. Let’s start with simple introductions. The easiest way to remember who gets introduced to whom is to think of it this way. Mr most important person gets introduced to a person who is not so or lesser of importance. Maybe I should say this Mr or Mrs most important. Gender does not play as big a role in introductions, well especially in Western society than maybe it does in the Eastern cultures. Etiquette is perhaps one of the trickiest elements of navigating through business. Start by learning the etiquettes of the country you live in as a whole before you start specialising in various different cultural etiquettes. To be honest though having said that the world is becoming a very global market and one culture rarely defines one country any more. Especially when it comes to Western cultures as the general population in Western countries are becoming more and more culturally diverse.
When it comes to the etiquette of giving and receiving business cardsI would highly recommend following the lead of the Asian business person. And that is to give and take the card in both hands, take the time to read the information, maybe comment on it and, if you are a card scribbler, do it when no one notices.It is also wise to place the card you’ve been given in a separate pocket or source than where you hold your own business cards. Nothing worse than going to have someone your card only to give them potentially a competitors card.
Opening doors has created a minefield of confusion people out there. It is always very sweet if the gentleman opens the door for a lady and my advice ladies if the gentleman does do that kindly thank him. I’m appalled when I hear stories of women who show aggression to men who simply opened the door for them. It is neither sexist nor demeaning it is just a nice thing to do. In the same token ladies don’t stand idly waiting for someone to open the door for you. Basically whoever gets to the door first should open it to someone else and if you’re walking with someone for whom you have respect take a few steps to get to the door quicker so that you can open it for them.
The mobile phone has created a whole new form of digital etiquette. When you’re in a meeting, and a networking event or at any time where you are communicating with another person give them the respect of giving them your full attention. Unless something that may have grave repercussions should you not attend to it immediately be occurring, there is no need to when to call during a meal or a meeting. The phone will not explode if you don’t answer it.
Considering phones are so much more than phones these days here couple of other tips to keep in mind. Fast you might want a ring tone that suits your personality and ensure that it is not offensive or annoying to those around you. And if you and see your phone in a public place ensure that what ever you have on as a screensaver is appropriate.
The whole subject of eating it is really numerous podcasts in itself. It’s important that you know how they handle yourself at breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings. The you understand the etiquette of who pays the bill, what to order and what to drink. Which I’ll cover in a future podcast.
So here we come to the conclusion of this sticky series. How the idea that you can connect and create long and loyal customers and clients by simply being away of how you connect with them who they are and what’s important to them.
Think of the way you look, is there anything you can do to improve your image to ensure that when you are meeting with your client you look the way they expected to any of the best you possibly can. Take into account how likeable you are. Do you know how to talk to them to make them feel as most comfortable with you as possible to make them feel that they are the only person that you care about in that moment and make them feel that what ever is important to them is important to you to. Remember to be consistent, to be uniform in your approach. So that people know when they are contacting you and I know when your brand means they know we knew represents and they know exactly what the going to get. Finally no matter where you have come from we can generally find something we have in common with persons of them are speaking and from that thread a connection can be woven.
I really hope you’ve enjoyed this program and now it’s up to you go out there and get sticky. Make yourself the kind of person that your clients want to be with and stick to the rest of your business career and maybe even beyond.
Thanks for tuning in, you were just listening to Styled For Success, if you enjoyed the show please leave a review here on iTunes and make sure to head over to Clare Maxfield.com.au to Subscribe and receive for FREE Seven secrets to Business success and other updates to help you with your Presentation and Communication skills. & Stay tuned for upcoming episodes on Styled For Success. Our next show will cover The colour blue and how to wear it_for your business success
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