So many prospects, so little time to win them over. If you’ve paid attention to the previous tips in this series you’re well on your way to ensuring that your prospect doesn’t shut the door in your face. You’ve set the stage, you know what you’re talking about and you’ve got the courage of your convictions.
Is it possible that you could still be turned down? Even if you’ve got the best price in town? Alas, even the smartest, best-dressed and most confident among us can still come up short if that’s all we are.
If that’s all we are?! I can hear the outrage, the bafflement. Isn’t that the total package? Well, mostly, except for one huge piece… personality. And if you want to win over your prospects you’ve got to have one.
Tip #6: Have A Personality
You don’t need to look any further than presidential elections to know that people trust people they think they can like. Remember so much hoopla about “he’s a guy you could have a beer with”? Whether or not your prospect wants to have a beer with you can in fact have a big impact on whether or not you’ll get the job.
That doesn’t mean you actually need to have a beer. It just means your prospect needs to believe you’re the kind of guy (or gal) who would be fun to hang out with on a Saturday night over darts and salsa.
I’m not talking party-loving mania here, just good old fashioned people-skills. You need to connect with your prospect on a human level.
Also remember that people make buying decisions emotionally rather than logically. If you can tap into that, it’ll be awfully hard for your competition to come along and wedge his way in.
Pay Attention To The Trivia
A little bit of information stored in the filing cabinets of your brain will go a long way. The most successful people out there aren’t necessarily the smartest but they do remember to acknowledge their client’s wedding anniversary and send a gift basket when their client has a baby.
They commiserate about bad golf scores and ask about last week’s visit with the in-laws. It doesn’t take much to show that you’re paying attention and that you’re the kind of person who your client could, in fact, have a beer and burger with.
Not all of us have the memory of an elephant, so make some notes. If your prospect mentions his son’s upcoming divisional championship hockey game, there’s really no reason you couldn’t make a note to ask about the outcome.
The more you can show that you are invested in your prospect beyond the obvious, the better your chances will be of getting and keeping that client because he will also be invested in you.
And the competition will become a gnat buzzing on the outside of your happy little circle of friendship.
Be Well Rounded
Nobody will want to have a beer with you if you’re just plain old boring. All work and no play makes for a very dull person.
You should be able to hold your own when it comes to small talk about the latest hurricane, the newest celebrity scandal, last week’s product recall and the current bestselling novel.
Although it’s wise to avoid hot button controversies (they always say never talk politics or religion), it’s a good idea to know what’s going on in the world so that if a topic does come up in the course of conversation you’re not scratching your head in bewilderment.
Before you start pulling your hair out because you’re so busy studying your own industry that you haven’t got time to care which Hollywood starlet’s been pulled over for a DUI, let me tell you that it doesn’t take much to be informed. I’m not talking about studying and memorizing every detail of every topic that could possibly come up. I’m just talking about knowing what’s going on outside your own little bubble.
There’s a very simple fix for not knowing: it’s called reading.
Hook yourself up with an RSS reader and a nice diverse set of feeds. You’re probably doing this anyway, so instead of immersing yourself in only your interests and industry, branch out a little so that you can converse casually about topics that may interest other people.
Most times you won’t need to read farther than the headlines to know that 10,000 pounds of beef were recalled on Tuesday and the hurricanes are already up to “M” and the latest is brewing in the Caribbean.
You could be smart, well rounded and have a photographic memory but if you don’t show a little spark of personality you will put your prospects to sleep. Nobody wants to listen to someone drone on and on whether it’s about pop culture or credit swaps.
You’ve got to be able to speak with passion, inflection and honesty. Some people get this and sadly, some people never will. There are always going to be droners. But most of us have a personality lurking in there somewhere.
We may just be afraid to show it for fear of rejection or fear of looking stupid in front of prospects.
The only way to get over that is to practice being yourself and keep honing your people skills. You’ll never get anywhere if you don’t start somewhere. So make up your mind that for your next prospect meeting you’re going to walk in not only sure of your professional skills but sure of yourself as a person who can connect with another person.
People buy from people they like. If you want your prospect to buy from you, you’ve got to get your prospect to buy into you. Not everyone will connect with you on that level and not everyone will enjoy your particular brand of personality. But that’s part of the process and if you can find the prospects that do appreciate you, your competition might as well cease to exist.
Have you ever hesitated to work with someone because they seemed… well, kind of bland? Or are you a strict go-for-the-professional kind of person?
Read More In The “Make The Sale” Series
- Tip 1: Qualify Your Leads
- Tip 2: Dress The Way You Want To Be Perceived
- Tip 3: Set Expectations
- Tip 4: Know Your S#*@
- Tip 5: Believe In Yourself
- Tip 6: Have A Personality
- Tip 7: Have Good Collateral Materials
- Tip 8: Don’t Sell Your Services
- Tip 9: Talk (And Learn) About Your Prospect
- Tip 10: Be Genuine
- Tip 11: Have A Good Website
- Tip 12: Follow Up
- Tip 13: Define Your “Je Ne Sais Quoi”
- Tip 14: Give It Away