That’s silly – I can hear you now thinking what is he on about. I believe this for one simple reason: people BUY people.
In the, usually, less structured world of the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) there are four aspects to the buying process:
- does this meet the needs of my business?
- Does the price meet with my budget?
- How will this purchase make me look to my peers and my boss?
- Do I like the person sitting in front of me?
I don’t have any research that says what percentage of the process can be attributed to each of these (more homework for me) but what I can say is that I have never bought a business product or service off someone I didn’t like and I don’t think anyone bought off me whilst thinking I was a pratt!
Part of the process of making someone like you is your first impression. There are lots of clichés around this:
- You never get a chance to make a second impression
- First impressions count
Your first impression is made up of a number of aspects:
- Did you arrive on time?
- Are you dressed appropriately (jeans and stockbrokers rarely mix for example)?
- What sort of handshake do you have (limp rarely equals a positive impression unless you’re royalty and shaking 100’s of hands a day)?
- Do you look like you’re enjoying yourself?
The last is the ultimate. If you come across as if you’re not enjoying yourself, the chances are that you don’t believe in either the product or the company. If you don’t believe, how are you ever going to get the buyer to? A smile that starts BEFORE you enter the meeting and ends AFTER you leave will generate, in you and the buyer, a positive mental attitude. If you don’t believe me, watch The Apprentice and see how the Irish guy, Jim Eastwood, to see what I mean. Whatever you think of the show and what it does to the future job prospects of these people, it is great for watching how people interact; both with their colleagues and with their customers.
So to summarise:
- If you smile, you will look like you’re enjoying yourself
- If you look like you’re enjoying yourself, you’ll make a good fist impression
- If you make a good first impression, the buyer will like you
- If they like you, you have a much better chance of making the sale
As I said at the beginning, smiling helps you sell more.