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!

Woohoo Wednesday

Be the Change

Every where you turn, people are looking to make a difference.  Some are doing it on a worldwide scale while others are reaching out on a smaller level, in their own neighborhoods or amongst their friends and family.  In this crazy busy life we lead, it is  important to reflect and access what we add to our world, in our day-to-day lives, with our loved ones, with our work associates, with our neighbors, and with those who we meet along the way.

Every moment of every day, we have the ability to make the world a better place through the choices we choose to make.

No matter what you do, you are aware of the importance of first impressions but particularly in direct sales.  The people you meet are trying to decide if you’re trying to get something from them, or if you truly want to share your heart.  What kind of impression do you give?

When you reach out to a stranger, what is your purpose?  If it all about you, you are missing out on the connection you could have with them. If you are joy-filled, they will see your heart and know your purpose is to “be the change.” in their lives.  By sharing a smile, a heartfelt compliment, or a sincere comment, you can make their day; more importantly, you can change their day.

If you are in direct sales and have a team, think about the people on your team – the ones who have chosen to connect with you. They believed (and hopefully still do) in you, and for whatever reason, decided to follow you.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you continue to share your heart with them – the good, the bad and the ugly?
  • Are they still engaged, or do you see them disengaging?
  • Do they participate by attending meetings, getting on calls, and attending events?
  • Are you connecting with them ONLY to talk about numbers and what you need?
  • Have they pulled back because they don’t feel connected anymore?
  • Are they confused, unsure, or just don’t believe their dreams can be achieved?

Reconnecting takes some work on your part.  On a recent coaching call, someone pointed out they saw a difference in the way I was connecting with my team and the impact it was having.  What was the difference?  I have been gut honest – the good, the bad and the not so pretty.  I have been sharing my struggles as well as the highlights with them.  I have done Facebook LIVE and shared my tears and struggles.  I have encouraged them and cried with them.

Are you looking to reconnect with your team (or maybe even a friend), here are some tips:

  • Send a heartfelt handwritten postcard, letting them know why they are special.
  • Invite them to a fun event. Something they would enjoy doing, if you aren’t sure – ASK!
  • Take them out for coffee, a snack or a meal. Take time to reconnect.
  • Listen to find out where they are in their life and find out if anything has changed.
  • Send a thank–you note to them. Let them know you appreciate the time they took to reconnect with you.

These kinds of connections in direct sales are being called “pulse checks”.  Checking the pulse of your team (or friends) to see how their life is going.  I am always surprised when I ask my team “how are things going”, they immediately respond with things related to their business.  When they do, it makes me sad to think they believe I am only interested in their business and not in sincerely wanting to connect with them

Re-framing their perception can be tough.  It takes action on our part, follow-through and sincerely wanting to be the change.

Like in life, there’s one thing every direct seller can count on, and it’s change. We are in the midst of those dreaded “J” months.  Maybe you had a couple of really great months, then it feels like the bottom falls out. We have all been there.  It is the ebb and flow of the business we are in – or any business really.  The excitement and early success of a new business can often be met by the reality and emotional roller coaster which frustrates so many.

Will you make a difference in the life of others?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!