Don’t Try To Be Anyone But You
If you have not read our blog on being unique, please do. One of the most important factors in business is to be yourself, no one else. You are your own sales-person no matter what your position is. This does not mean that you cannot learn from others, continue to educate yourself or strive to do better. However, people in general understand if someone is authentic or not. If you are personable, approachable and consistent, individuals will truly understand you’re the real deal. Business is about relationships and agreements not about cinema.
I never liked it in grade school, high school or in adult life. Gossiping is telling others secrets or confidential information about another individual, company or group that could be detrimental. Common information or public information is fair game. Sharing your knowledge in a good light or helping someone is fine. Let me provide an example here. Many of my clients become my friends. So confidentiality is of the utmost importance, plus it’s the right thing to do. After 9-11 one of my very first DCWarehouse clients called me and said, “Kirsten, we have been hit so hard, we simply cannot afford to pay for our annual maintenance. Not even in installments.” He went on to say, he did not know if he could even salvage his company. Long story short, I kept the information private. I also made an Executive Decision to give him one year of maintenance free. After all, he always was a great client and he continually paid his bills in the past. There is no sense in trying to shake someone for money who doesn’t have it. Truthfully that decision paid off. That client has a product that everyone wants right now and cannot get fast enough. They went from hundreds of shipments per day to thousands. In fact, that client is now ranked on my top twenty client list. Do you see what confidentiality and integrity do?
The 2 P’s – Preparation and Professionalism
Who doesn’t receive hundreds of spam emails and calls a day? As I’m maturing, I know how important time is, especially free time. On my end, I have problems paying attention, so I truly must structure my days through an organized calendar and use tools to help me stay focused. On the sales side, I at minimum research any company or individual before warm calling them. When looking at potential new hires, I thoroughly review his/her resume and listen my best during interviews. When sending emails, I make the subject line meaningful, I try and make concise bullet pointed or organized information in the body. I use the same process when I leave voice mails. This means clearly articulating my name, number and the exact question or piece of information that needs to be relayed. If anything irks me to no end, it is laziness and being unprepared. I detest multiple unsolicited emails from the same person or company without at minimum an introductory call. Most of all, I detest someone who wants something – let’s say a job or to sell us something, but doesn’t even know what we do, how long we’ve been around or any details we already took the time to publish on our website. Please read this blog to learn more about the importance of preparation and presentation.
Pick Up the Phone
Email is a great tool. The phone is a better tool for these situations. Contacting a prospect that is interested in your product or service. Calling someone going through a challenging time. Apologizing, if you or your team needs to. Getting to the bottom of a problem that has been going on too long. Let’s face it, nothing clears up misunderstandings, miscommunications or extends the olive branch as an actual conversation. Plus, you never know, somebody may have never received your email, don’t count on it not going into “Spam” accidentally or getting deleted etc. In person meetings are even better, and we’ll all get there again someday.
Ok, I’ve heard this before, “Kirsten you’re too nice, you allow people to take advantage of you.” To this I say, you can’t be nice enough. It does not mean you’re a push over or you don’t take care of business. It does not mean you’re a “Virtue Signaler” or you don’t have you and your own at heart. It simply means this. People remember how people talk and treat them period. We all have bad days and challenges. By simply being kind and decent, you can be helping someone completely turn around a bad day. Think hard of all the nice things people did for you.