Being an entrepreneur and running your own business comes with a long set of positives and negatives. Sometimes gaining credibility and respect takes time. It is important to acknowledge that success in business has changed greatly over the years with the addition of social media and various marketing tactics. In order to be successful we need to make strong connections with people. These nine tips will help you be successful in business and in life.
1. Allow People To Talk About Themselves
One secret to making a good impression: Allow people to talk about themselves. Talking about yourself can stimulate similar brain regions as sex or a good meal. Pretty great for tooting your own horn! And often when you allow people talk about their own experiences, they become more vulnerable to one another. When people increase their vulnerability, they form social bonds (whether business or personal) and participate in each other's well-being.
2. Dress For Success
Not only does it have a nice ring to it, first impressions really matter. It takes no time to devise a first impression. Contrary to popular thought, appearance is less about the shape of your body, the label on your jacket or the colour and style of your hair. Instead the way in which your polish, groom and put yourself together are the key factors to making a positive first impression. If you don't know where to begin, start by observing the successful people you admire and take note of how they dress and conduct themselves in business and day to day life. Then pull the things you like and create the appearance that works best for you.
3. Ah, The Handshake
This is not to be mistaken with an arm wrestling match or a stance of power, but rather it is a matter of genuine presence. Body language says a great deal. When you go in for a handshake, mean it, be present. Have your body squarely face the person you are greeting, make eye contact, have a good grip (like a good hug to a friend you haven't seen in a while), and smile warmly. Be yourself and be genuine. This radiates respect for the person you are handshaking with which in turn earns you respect.
4. Posture Perfect
Your posture has a massive effect on the way you feel, the way you carry yourself, and how other people respond to your presence. Your best posture is to stand as if you are growing 3 inches, keeping your shoulders open and relaxed, which helps make you feel empowered. Posture alone will increase your confidence, people will feel attracted to your confidence and instill further confidence in you.
5. Be In The Know
It is essential to relationship building that you carry on conversations both within your industry and other goings-on. First and foremost be on top of your industry's current affairs. People and clients are always asking me about the Real Estate Market and they wouldn't be asking if they didn't trust that I knew what was happening, how the economy was doing in real estate, and being active in my industry. Period. Couple your expertise with a range of other subjects, whether related to your industry or not. But remember to be genuinely interested in the topic or you won't want to stay on top of the current affairs of other subject areas. Speak of your industry and others with intelligence. Pop culture (I'm not talking about celeb gossip here), technology, sports, science, arts, the list goes on. Read. Read more. And then read again.
6. Preparation. Ridiculous Preparation.
Ignorance is truly despicable, disrespectful and disgraceful. If you want your voice to be heard and be credible, be informed. VERY informed. Go ridiculously deep into the research and subject area so your knowledge is second nature. This will also help you handle objections and scrutiny with ease and confidence. It's going to happen, it's part of business. Being ridiculously prepared will only gain you more respect. The saying knowledge is power should be taken seriously in business success.
7. Share Your Stories
Stats, successes, testimonials and numbers are impressive. But it isn't enough. Connecting with people is the way of current business. If I was to simply share facts and figures with clients it would make for a dull time and likely leave clients questioning my credibility. Are these facts truth? Even with credible sources, people are looking to connect with others in order to make transactions in business. Sharing your personal side humanizes you and in a way tears down the brick and mortar of the old school business regimes. Knowing I am a mother immediately establishes a common ground of understanding for clients with families. Clients recognize I am human, and likely I am more trust worthy since we share something in common.
8. Check Your Tone
Be confident in what you say among co-workers and clients. Even if you aren't entirely confident in what you are saying, if you end your sentences on a higher tone, you will sound unsure. Uncertainty is death in business. It opens doors for more objections, more questions, and less respect and credibility. Be calm, be firm, be warm, be certain, be professional.
9. Confidence + Humility = Respect
It is important to command enough self-confidence to earn the respect of others, but too much confidence can come across as arrogance. Not ok. Arrogance just turns current and potential clients in the opposite direction. A solid dose of confidence married with humility will create an honest and palpable persona that clients can relate to and will want to be connected with. Again earning you more respect and thus more success in business and life.