Thursday, May 23, 2013

Is too much professionalism hurting your businerss or career?

"An ounce of personalization is worth a pound of professionalism"

The world has changed and most people haven't noticed.   The old paradim for business success was to achieve a high level of professionalism.  And while our clients and customers expect a certain level of professionalism,  they want more even more.  

Competition today is far more intense and our clients are getting bombarded with massive information and sales pitches for products and services.   So what they crave is to like, trust and respect those they do business with so that they can simplify their decisions and choices.

"If you earn your business by having the best price, product or service you might one day lose that business to the next guy who comes along with a better price, product or service.   But if they really like you then you have to really screw up before they will go elsewhere"  

It all starts with liking who they deal with.   Because all things being equal we prefer and most often do business with those we like and get this.....all things being unequal we still frequently chose to do business with those we  like!  This is why its sometimes better to ease up on the professionalism and get more personal.

Making personal relationships with clients and customers is so incredibly important and the methods to do that are endless.   Mostly I just want you to appreciate how important it is and to give just a few examples to stir your creative juices about how to build a lasting rapport with your clients.

Get personal

Now a days it seems the only people that call you Mr. Mrs or Ms is probably one of the following:

Tax man
Bill collector

Not exactly a fun group to get a call from.   So as you can imagine where it was once a sign of respect today it puts people on edge when someone says....hello Ms Brown this is...etc.   However, when someone says...hi Rachel this is...    Well you get the idea, first names are personal and last names are professionalism.    First names are what our friends and family call us.  Get personal to get the sale!

The sweetest sound to a human is our own name,,,

Start and end all emails, letters and conversations with a persons name.   Use their name as often as you can without sounding unnatural or salesy.   It sounds so simple but like others before you who have tried will be amazed at the difference.  People like to  hear and read their name.   Using it goes a long way to create likeability and trust. 

Seek similarities

Professionals are taught to identify the customers problems and opportunties and then build their presentation around that.   Then they move in for the close. 

"Your first objective is not to make a sale, it is start a relationship"

Superstars build trust and likeability long before they even make a presentation.  One of the best ways to do this is to seek the similarities between you and the client.   Did you go to the same college?   Do you cheer for the same sports team?   Do you share a passion for motorcycles?   Do you read the same kinds of books?   Do you belong to similar organizations like; toastmasters or Chamber of Commerce?  Do you both have kids.

You can always find some similarities if you seek them out!

Have you ever been on a holiday in a foreign country and then happened to meet someone from close to where you live?   You felt an immediate connection.   And that's what you are after...a common connection. 

One phrase I've always had a distaste for is....It's just business!   Today its not just business, today it's personal!


Do you want to make your corporate gifts more valuable?    Then don't put your company name on it.    I realize that many people think this is effective marketing but it's not.   When you put your company logo on is advertising and is viewed that way by the recipient.   It diminishes the gift and the appreciation of it. 

We've all received calendars, pens and caps with logos etc on them.    And you probably do what I do with them.   Throw them in a drawer somewhere or give them to someone else.

What to make your gift worth more?

Put their name on it!   That's personalization that will long be appreciated and kept.  And don't worry your pretty little head about it....they won't forgot who gave it to them.

"By all means be professional and by all means get personal"


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