TEN SECONDS TO SUCCESS; OR NOT!
By Jim “Gymbeaux” Brown, March 1, 2010
“People will do business with and refer business to
those people they know, like and trust.”
Bob Burg http://www.burg.com/
Your mother was right, you should never judge a book by its cover and you should never judge people until you get a chance to really know them. I hope she does not read this; Mom may have been right but putting that principle into daily practice is almost impossible.
Who has not bought a book just because the cover was attractive or cute? Who would not be caught up in this title: “Get Your Tongue Out of My Mouth, I'm Kissing You Goodbye!” Cynthia Heimel. Here’s another: “Life Is Short, Wear Your Party Pants.” Loretta LaRoche. My personal favorite is “Never Wrestle With A Pig; You Both Get Dirty And The Pig Loves It!” Mark McCormack
First impressions DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE and you have about 10 SECONDS to make that favorable impression. This morning I took my wife out to breakfast and it was great. A couple sat down at the table next to us and the first thing I noticed about the man was a HUGE gold earring hanging from his nose; it was hard not to see. It almost distracted me enough that I might have missed the tattoos on his neck. This man may have been the key to my future but neither of us will ever get the chance to know. At least in my eyes he failed his 10 second opportunity. The reverse of that is also true. I may have been HIS opportunity to an abundant future but as stated, neither one of us will ever know will we? What do you think would have been the result had this man sat in front of me at a job interview? How about you? Could you see past the nose earring? Maybe so; probably not.
How you dress speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you are saying. How you dress DOES make a difference in that first 10 seconds and that includes all kinds of things such as:
- Body piercings
- Excessively large earrings
- Excessive makeup
- Hair styles that are either unkempt, out of date or trying to make a statement – Mohawk
- Casual dress when it should be business-like or even formal
- Formal dress when it should be casual or business-like
- Extra short skirts (for women in case you-know-who is reading this)
- Low cut necklines, again for women or I guess for men as well
- Jewelry, believe it or not, if it is excessive or gaudy
- Food on your teeth
- Food on your blouse or shirt
- Ink stain on your shirt pocket
- Coffee stain on your shirt or blouse
- Foul breath
- Foul body odor
- The smell of smoke on your clothes and/or in your car if used for business
- The smell of alcohol on your breath – a real killer
- A telephone sticking out of your ear; come on, you know it looks horrible and sends the signal that although I am with you, I am also with anyone who happens to call me and then you take a back seat - admit it – you know I am right about this.
- Old fashioned but...not standing up when a person enters the room.
When meeting people for the first time, the above list represents INSTANT KILLERS to building rapport. How do you measure up? Are you sure? Sometimes you need to ask a good friend and if you ask, you CANNOT BE OFFENDED AT THE ANSWERS! When you ask, set the parameters of the question and your response to the answers, explain that it could mean a sale (and it will if it hasn’t already).
Meeting someone face-to-face for the first time you really do have about 10 seconds to make a favorable impression. Meeting them on the telephone is a little different but not much and it depends on who generated the call. If a stranger is calling you, you have about 30 seconds. A lot of people calling a sales person do so to ELIMINATE them from consideration; not necessarily what they are selling or offering but rather he or she as an individual. If you generate the call you have about 10 seconds especially since the person you call is NOT sitting around waiting for your call. Keep in mind that you are interrupting them from something that at that moment is far more important than your call, at least to them. Therefore 10 seconds might even be a bit optimistic. In this age of caller-ID you will be lucky if such a call is even answered.
What could go wrong on a telephone call that could create a bad first impression? Let’s count the ways:
- Eating food; like the other party can’t tell
- Excessive noise in YOUR background area
- Loud music playing in the background
- Typing on a keyboard while you answer the phone; yes it can be heard
- Chewing gum
- Holding the phone with your shoulder with your head is pointed down toward your desk creating a muffled voice
- Not sounding excited about the opportunity you have with a customer
- Placing people on HOLD or worse FORGET; use HOLD only as a last resort
There are some simple rules regarding talking with probable buyers on the telephone:
- First and foremost, STAND UP! Your voice comes across on the telephone much better than if you are sitting down
- If you can, look into a mirror before you answer, stand up and smile into the mirror. A smile comes across in your voice; you want to sound happy and positive
- Take 2 to 3 seconds, if you can, to clear your mind of what you are doing and start thinking that the person on the other end of the line could mean a sale for you; he or she probably does
- Get in the SERVICE mode, how can you help this person
- Don’t get hung up on emphasizing your name and company when ANSWERING a call because the caller either already knows it or more likely, doesn’t care. You can give it to them deeper into the conversation when it will make a difference
- In real estate sales, at least in Louisiana, you MUST give your name and company at the beginning of your call when YOU are making the call
- Repeat important points to demonstrate to the caller you are both listening and paying attention
- Answer questions with the answer to the question. Do not answer with a question. Then ask a related “open-ended” question that causes the customer to think and answer with something other than a YES or NO – keeps the conversation going
- DO NOT TALK TO CUSTOMERS IN YOUR CAR WHILE YOU ARE DRIVING. You cannot give them proper attention and you are menace to everyone else on the highway!
Here is a novel thought, why not create a phone message for your cell phone to advise customers that you are either with a customer OR you may be driving in either case you will return their call. If you were a customer, could you accept that premise?
PUT A SIGN ON YOUR PHONE – “I HAVE 10 SECONDS TO MAKE A SALE!”
Get in the habit of asking yourself a Direction-Deflection-Question (DDQ), originated by Joe Tye, http://www.joetye.com/.
Is what I am about to say or do consistent with me providing EXEMPLARY customer service?
Unfortunately most of the time people, certainly not you, act more like they are interrupted than wanting to serve the public who visit or call. How do you measure up?
YOU HAVE 10 SECONDS
TO MAKE A FAVORABLE FIRST IMPRESSION!
THINK ABOUT IT!
YOU BECOME WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT MOST!
I AM AT MY ABSOLUTE BEST WHEN SERVING OTHERS!