Business Tips and Tricks

Do You Make a BAD First Impression?

Over the years, I have learned to let my sparkle shine but sometimes the shine is tarnished. I used to worry about what people thought – what their first impression was of me.  When working in the corporate world, I dressed and acted to fit the part.  When I worked in the non-profit world as a social worker, first impressions were the key to success when working with new clients. Despite how uncomfortable I was, I played a role in the hopes of making a good first impression.  Sometimes it worked and sometimes they saw right through the facade.

Now I have my own business and I am so grateful the business world is more relaxed because it really fits my style.  Even though I find most people will accept you for your inner beauty and not the outward appearance, there are still people who make judgments based on first impressions. I love the advice of one of my favorite business coaches – Vanessa Coppes:

Being the kind of person YOU want to do business with is a karmic synergy. You’ll be more likely to attract more like-minded people to you and your business.

People who may be looking to partner, hire, or buy from you will carefully dissect you, specially if they are looking to engage and do business with you.

It’s what I am sure you’ve heard of: The KLT Factor (Know, Like, and Trust Factor).

So what do you do? Being in direct sales, I feel like I am always making a first impression – a walking billboard for my business.  So, here are some things I try to keep in mind whenever I leave the house.  These are my top pet peeves, what about you?

Inappropriate Attire.

Running to the store, or out with the kids – sweatpants, yoga pants, something comfy is all okay.  I mean we have lives besides our business, right?  Be careful not to wear something too revealing because you will get attention, but not the kind you want.  Business casual works great for meetings, home parties, networking and so much more. Not sure what “business casual” looks like for you?  Find a style which suits your personality.

I tend to say I am “shabby chic” but I’m never quite sure what it means except I’m not a fashionista.  I’m a jeans girl and yes, they do work 95% of the time with a nice shirt and shoes.  You should pick a style that fits you and your industry.  Your clothes should be clean and neat. There is a difference between intentional business casual versus someone who doesn’t wash or iron their clothes.

Excessive texting.

Are you one of those people who is addicted to your phone?  I’m learning to put the phone down and walk away.  Honestly, what did we do before cell phones?  Yes, I do remember those days!  I have always said there isn’t a purse emergency so why I am so obsessed.  It is definitely one of those addictive personality traits.  “Do Not Disturb” has become my friend on my phone.

Did you know if you can’t stop looking at your phone, or responding, you will send a signal you find no one more important than yourself? YIKES!  Is that the impression you want to give to others?  Being present in the moment has more value than you believe.

Body Language (Proverbial Eye Rolling).

This is one I have to work on CONSTANTLY!  My face is an open book to what I am thinking which is not a good thing in any relationship but extremely difficult in business.  Crossed arms show you are not open to what they are saying.  Multi-tasking when talking to someone is just plain rude!  Everyone wants to feel important and appreciated. Saying “what” or “I didn’t hear you” shows your disinterest.  “Be the type of person you want to meet and take a reciprocal approach. Be the first to offer your focused attention.”

Half Full or Half Empty

I am generally a positive person.  Yes, I have those days, we all do BUT when I am having one of them, I try to limit my people contact.  Did you know if you always see the glass as half empty, you are projecting you are a difficult and dissatisfied human being? Who want to do business with some who is always unhappy?  Change your mindset and see the glass as half full.  Happiness IS a choice.

The bottom line is you want to be the type of person you want to meet.  Remember the Law of Attraction….. we draw the people and business to us when we speak into the Universe.  What or who are you attracting?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks

How to Maneuver Difficult Converations

timthumb-phpWoohoo Wednesday is all about how to grow personally which will help us to grow professionally whether you are a business owner or not.

Think about the most successful person you know.  Visualize them?  Got the picture?  Do they have the most talent you have seen?  Did they go to college and have the highest test scores?  Do they have a degree from an Ivy League school?  Or, did they earn their success because of their way with words?

The truth is some of the most successful people are a success because they learned how to talk differently – to others, and to themselves.  They conquered the toughest skill of all –  the art of navigating a difficult conversation.  Do they sweat or worry? Or do they effortlessly talk about topics which would utterly stress you (and others) out?  I am in awe how they manage to maneuver through these mine fields without even a scratch.

I wondered how they did it so I went on a hunt to see if I could find out….

Here are six things successful people do differently when they have something hard to say.

Consider what conversation you need to have and

1. Plan it out.

Think about the outcome you want from the conversation. Then stay focused so you don’t get distracted by emotions. This is the tough part for me.  I tend to cry at the drop of a hat – not good in difficult conversations.  Write your key points. Decide how you want to say them. How do you want to end the conversation?

2. Have compassion.

Speak with respect and kindness. See it from the other side, not just your own. Remember it is not all about you.  What do they want? What are they feeling? Acknowledge those things. Hard conversations don’t have to be ugly as long as you are being compassionate when telling the truth.compassion-2

3. Get it over with.

When you need to have tough discussions, do you delay them?  It is the worse thing to do.  The longer you wait, the more stress.  When you stress and wait, all of these tips are useless.  Have the conversation because when you do, you will be able to bless and release.

4. Talk more than you type.

How often would you rather hide behind a keyboard then have the difficult conversation?  This is not the way to approach a difficult conversation.  WHY?  because it is important to have the back-and-forth interaction, sense the tone of the voices, and see the body language.  These are things you can’t convey in texts or emails.   Have a face to face (or phone conversation if in-person isn’t realistic) conversation.

5. Know listening is a form of speaking.

Listening is key to any conversation but letting others feel like they are being heard is extremely important in difficult conversations.  People can see their value in your eyes when you are listening.  I’m not saying to skirt around the points you want to make, just be sure to listen, too.  What did our mothers always say?  God gave us two ears and one mouth so we could listen MORE and talk less.

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6. Question your fear.

FEAR!  It stops us dead in tracks most most of the time.  Having tough conversations is not different.  Fear usually keeps up from moving forward on so many things.  It is not a stop sign. It does not mean we should not move forward.  Use the PAUSE as an opportunity to question your fear.  What are you afraid will happen if you have this conversation? How will you handle the reaction or response?  How can you have the conversation without having an unwanted outcome?  Face the fear and refuse to allow it to silence you by making a plan to deal with it.

So, who are you afraid to have a difficult conversation with?  What are the key points you want to say and how do you want the conversation to end?  Share with us and we will help you fight the fear…

Thank you Valerie Burton for these tips.  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Business Tips and Tricks

Throwback Thursday – Body Language Revisited

bodylanguageMany (many) years ago I took a Public Speaking class in college and I was terrified. I always said “I hate talking in front of people”.  I know some of you may be shocked by this BUT it is the truth.  Back then they mentioned the importance of “body language”, I filed the information but never really thought about it until recently.

When I began my career in Social Work, a seasoned professional, Dave Schall, reminded me how important it was to make sure  my body language was saying the same thing as my words.  Now, in direct sales where home parties and talking to people is the key to my success – the art of body language has again reared it’s head. My mantra over the last few years has gone from “I hate talking in front of people” to “I hate making phone calls”.

My word last year was CONFIDENCE and I am happy to say, I have gained some – okay maybe a lot.  Phone calls still gave me the sweats.  I was okay calling if I was about 99% sure I would get voice mail because I had a great message.  YIKES! When a real person answered the phone, I froze for a minute.  During a recent coaching call, there were some tips shared about how to change from the FEAR state to a positive one when making calls.

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Yes, it is the “Super Girl Stance”.  It works when you are in your office on the phone. Sound silly? Try it and let me know what you think….

Regardless of your mood, you must always be 110% for your clients and hostesses. After all, they have invited you into their home, and have almost guaranteed you a paycheck for the evening, and possibly many more to come. Do not take it for granted! We understand life happens, and sometimes you don’t get a full nights sleep – but make sure that you do not portray that to your clients – that is certainly a very BAD first impression! Remember 80% of communication is BODY LANGUAGE! Make sure you are showing the correct message.  This also applies when talking to customers and hosts on the phone, delivering orders, etc.  Always put a smile on your face and give them 110%!

Life happens – Your day goes terrible wrong just before you are ready to head out the door for a party.  Kids get sick.  Traffic or the weather is against you.  The plans you made, fall apart.  In the midst of the craziness, a customer calls to ask a question or wants to exchange a product or postpone an upcoming party.  You know those calls, we all hate them.  SMILE through the phone, no matter how hard it is.  You have no clue what kind of day the other person is having and you could be the only one who lends a SMILE even if they can’t SEE if, they can HEAR it.

Headed to a party – unexpected traffic, babysitter late, hubby late coming home from work to watch the kids and the list goes on.  I am sure I am not alone in this list of unexpected pre-party events.  Once I get in the car, I usually say a prayer for safe travels and for a calm to come over me as I travel.  Then when I walk in the door, I flip the switch.  The one from wife to Professional Consultant.  I leave the bags at the door and do everything I can to ensure those who are attending the party have fun.  No, it isn’t always easy to do but it is important for the growth of YOUR business.  Your body language can make or break your party sales and you future bookings.

What are you best tips for flipping the switch when life gets in the way before a party or your pink bag calls?  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Give Your All

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Do you know what day it is???? That never gets old for me and always makes me smile.

Picture this…. you have a home party scheduled for tonight.  You didn’t get much sleep last night for whatever reason (kids, work, sick, etc).  You had a rough day at work.  The kids (or hubby) are making you crazy.  The babysitter is going to be a little late.  Then your hostess calls or texts to tell you that she isn’t sure how many people are coming.

mrbill1How do feel?  Stressed?  Really don’t want to go do the party?  Negative Nellie is already taking up residence in your head, right?

The reality is that your hostess has invited you into their home and almost guaranteed you a paycheck.  No matter how many people are there once they touch and see your products you will have sales or maybe even a new recruit.  Do you want your hosts’ party guests to see a stressed out hot mess or do you want to give them a good impression?

Life happens and the truth is, the guests at the party are probably trying to escape the same stress factors.  So what are you going to do?  Do you want them to have fun or do you want their first impression of you to be a bad one?

Remember 80% of communication is BODY LANGUAGE! Make sure you are showing the correct message, even on the phone.  I know, you are thinking, what difference does it make if I look like I am mad at the world – I am on the phone.  Has anyone ever asked if you were okay because they heard a “tone” in your voice?  Body language can be read over the phone.

So, no matter where you are – talking to customers and hosts on the phone, delivering orders, running errands or out and about. Put a smile on your face and give 110%.  I have found that even on my worse days when I put a smile on things look better.  Even if you have to fake it till you make it.

In direct sales, we are always ON!  Here is a great example… I was at lunch with two friends last week.  We were laughing and talking amongst ourselves, not paying any attention to the people around us.  A customer at the next table wanted to know “what we had” because we were so happy.  After a brief conversation, I shared a catalog and I now have TWO parties booked with this woman.  The reason – she said we were having a lot of fun and wanted to know more.

Was I planning on booking a party?  No!  Did I really feel like talking business? No!  I was out having lunch with friends to catch up.  But as soon as the opportunity came to share, my body language changed and my face lit up.  The “pink bubble” was shared with anyone who would listen.  If I had of just flatly answered her question and then ignored her, I would not be sitting here with 2 parties on the books.

Give 110% all of the time and who knows what the results will be…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Are You Instantly Likeable

TGIF!  I can’t believe that there is only 19 days till Christmas… where did the year go?  Before long we will be making those dreaded New Year’s Resolutions.  Okay, before I jump WAY ahead, I have been doing a lot of people watching over the last few weeks.

As I attend vendor events and home parties, I have been observing everyone’s body language.  I remembered being taught YEARS ago about the importance of our own body language in business but sometimes I need a refresher course.

And according to Leil Lowndes in her book “How To Talk To Anyone,” you can capture — and hold — anyone’s attention without saying a word.  I was intrigued so I checked some of them out…

Sticky Eyes – “Pretend your eyes are glued to your conversation partner’s with sticky warm taffy,” Lowndes advises. Even after they’ve finished speaking, don’t break eye contact. “When you must look away, do it ever so slowly, reluctantly, stretching the gooey taffy until the tiny string finally breaks.”  You can also try counting your conversation partner’s blinks. In a case study, subjects reported significantly higher feelings of respect and fondness for their colleagues who used this technique.

This one sounded interesting..of course the analogy of sticky warm taffy caught my attention right away.

Limit The Fidget – If you want to appear credible, try not to move too much when your conversation really matters. “Do not fidget, twitch, wiggle, squirm, or scratch,” Lowndes says. Frequent hand motions near your face can give your listener the feeling that you’re lying or anxious. Instead, simply fix a constant gaze on the listener and show them that you’re fully concentrated on the matter at hand.

I believe that this one is really important when doing home parties or talking to potential customers.  LISTENING to people is key in any business.

Hello, Old Friend – When you first meet someone, imagine they’re your old friend. According to Lowndes, this will cause a lot of subconscious reactions in your body, from the softening of your eyebrows to the positioning of your toes.  An added benefit to this technique is that when you act as though you like someone, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy — you might really start to like them. Lowndes says, “What it boils down to is love begets love, like begets like, respect begets respect.”

This is good for those who step out of their comfort zone to meet people. I have actually observed consultants using these three types of body language and the response of the people the talk is awesome.

If you are heading to a party the weekend or attending a vendor event or even out doing your holiday shopping, shy not try one or two of these things.  Okay, so some people may think you are crazy but just maybe you will meet a potential customers, hostess or recruit.  What have you got to loose, right?

I remember telling Belinda when she was little and trying something for the first time in a new setting, “you will never see these people again, so it doesn’t matter what they think”.  I mean really what are the odds that you will run into the same person again when you are at an event or on vacation.  If you hear Belinda tell the story, she will say the odds are GOOD.  TWICE she ran into people who actually were from our home town and had seen her before at gymnastics or at school.  So much for my theory, right?  But the truth is, more times than not, you won’t see them again unless you make a connection.

What are some of your best body language moves?  Share them with us.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

#bodylanguage, #thirtyone, #howtotalktoanyone, #leillowndes