Friends Don’t Let Friends Make Bad Decisions (or Drive Drunk)
If people don’t view you as someone they could be friends with, you lose, and they probably do, too…
People trust their friends to give them guidance and advice that’s in their best interest. They’re suspicious of people who are trying to sell them things and consider their advice “tainted” by the quest for the Federal Reserve Note.
Business “friends” form a friendly relationship based on mutual trust and common interest. Business friends have “rapport.” If you can position yourself as a buyer’s trusted and knowledgeable adviser rather than a one-step-up-from-the-liars’-pit salesperson, you’ll be offering sound “advice”, not a questionable “hard sell.”
And here’s the thing: In most cases, your “business” friends should be your friends. I have a hard time thinking in any other way than that.
The majority of my friends, my trusted and close friends, are people I’ve done business with. That makes life go a lot smoother in so many ways.
So just how do you establish rapport? Do your best to mirror what you observe. That’s a great way to start a friendship.
- Is the other person formal or friendly?
- Is his/her speaking voice loud or soft?
- Is the energy he/she gives off fast-paced or methodical?
Establishing rapport requires sensitivity. Remember a short, funny story can do more for “buyer” rapport than 20 minutes worth of sales talk, unless the buyer is a serious sort who finds humor a “time waster.”
But Enough About Me…What Do YOU Think (About Me)?
In making a connection and establishing rapport, it’s helpful if you can find something besides business to discuss. Most people share a favorite topic of conversation: themselves.
People love to talk about themselves and they reveal quite a bit when they do. You’ll immediately get some insight into their mood, personality, and conversational style. Make THAT happen.
The Art of Being Delightfully Curious
The information you learn about hobbies, pets, children and favorite vacation spots are the foundation for rapport and the beginning of a long, beautiful relationship…and a big, fat sale!
The Catalyst of Uniqueness
Legend Point: The unique quality of you or a product or service is the major reason that people buy from you instead of the guys down the block.
So, if you do something that sets you apart from your competition in the marketplace…if you make a better thing, a cheaper thing, or can deliver a piping, hot Pizza in 20 minutes or less guaranteed…don’t keep it a secret.
Tell the world how (and WHY) special you are!
The world will want to get to know you.
Once you and/or your company has identified its uniqueness, it will be the key message communicated in everything you do. Your uniqueness will be distilled down to an essential phrase — sometimes referred to as a unique selling position or unique sales proposition by marketing wannabee’s (and a slogan or motto by everyone else).
Your USP morphs into your communication with those you talk with…headlines for all of your ads, letters, brochures, TV, and radio messages. It’s on the tip of your tongue whenever you’re talking sales-talk, ready to make an impression on a potential customer when the time is right. It’s the first thing you think of when you open your business eyes in the morning and the last thing you think of when you close your office door at night.
And, perhaps the best catalyst of all…: