I was just having a chat with an old client from my fitness studio, (well, he’s not old, but he’s been with me for a long time!) and he was telling me how his wife goes to a different fitness center in town and the owner always complains to her about how lucky I am that I’m so charismatic and charming and friendly and everyone loves me. His words, not mine, but I approve 😉
This owner goes on little rants to my clients wife constantly about how my business does amazing because I’m just so darn naturally likeable and outgoing and it’s not fair to him because he’s not like that he’s more quiet and reserved and introverted.
Here’s the thing…
That’s not “me”.
Let me explain…
When I’m not at work, I prefer to be quiet. When I’m out with my wife at a social event, I prefer to sit back and let the others chat it up and just listen. When we’re out somewhere new I prefer to stay closed, reserved and introverted. At party’s, I don’t want to speak up. I don’t want to be a leader. I don’t want to be put on the spot or steal the show or even draw any attention to myself.
But ask any of my clients about “me” and they’ll tell you I’m always very chatty, outgoing, super friendly and will engage anyone in conversation for hours. Put me behind a promo booth at a festival and I’ll laugh and smile and chat with anyone that has ears and be the most bubbly, personable, charismatic and energetic person at the festival.
I’m naturally NOT outgoing. I’m quite reserved and quiet. But a long time ago I realize something…
If I sit quietly in my booth hoping no one will talk to me, I’m going to fail in business.
If I don’t engage with prospects, they won’t buy.
If I don’t act friendly, people won’t want to do business with me.
In fact, I’ve found that MOST people prefer not to engage and are more reserved, and the easiest way to break that is to be so friendly, engaging and full of energy that THEY are compelled to engage with you.
Here’s a dirty little secret…
I believe that a lot of folks are quietly hiding in their little bubble scared to come out yet desperately craving someone to engage them and help them feel alive. So by forcing myself to engage my prospects and clients, by getting out of my bubble, by putting my big boy pants on and making others feel welcomed, appreciated and happy I GET MORE BUSINESS.
Seems like a pretty darn good reason to get out of the comfort zone to me!
And the best part is that it gets EASIER with time and practice, in fact, now the very second I go into “work mode” my brain automatically knows to open up and be outgoing. It now comes naturally, effortlessly and pays off in big dividends.
Being outgoing and friendly is a SKILL, and like all skills, it can be learned. Oh, but don’t forget, it’s also like a muscle, and if you don’t use it, you lose it! So don’t have weak “friendly muscles”, get out there, put a smile on and watch the money come in.
But, that’s only the FIRST point of this blog post.
The second important issue here is that you should never, EVER, under any circumstance, bad mouth the competition. Especially to your clients! It makes you look very cheap.
Now to be very clear here… This doesn’t mean you can’t point out a problem or disservice a competitor is doing. I simply feel it’s un-ethical and “low” to mention the company name. Always better to take the high road.
For example, I often say that most agency’s start off as graphic design agency’s and somehow feel it entitles them to call themselves “marketing and branding experts” even though they don’t know anything about marketing. And that, to me, is a HUGE disservice and a downright lie to companies looking to hire them for marketing or branding. And when the clients of those companies are met with low or NO results from these “marketing” experts, it gives the true, ethical marketing pro’s a bad name.
I believe that issues like that should be brought up and clients should be educated about it, but I don’t feel any need to mention names. There’s no high road that leaves room for bad mouthing aimed directly at companies.
Explain the problem, offer a solution, but never bash others.
Anyhow, that’s it for today!
To your success