What will your Thanksgiving look like? Traditional family gathering? A "friendsgiving"? A quiet and small group? A boisterous and large family meal?
Regardless of what your Thanksgiving experience will be, chances are high you will have the opportunity to not only talk about work with friends and family, but also a chance to build deeper trust and credibility with those you already know well.
An astute young sales professional recently commented that it is vital to build strong personal relationships early in one's career. She's knocking it out of the park with her sales goals, and I know one of the key factors to her success is because she's taken this vital step so seriously.
As I mentioned in last week's post, so many people leave this to chance.
Interacting with hundreds of sales professionals at all stages of their careers, in both one on one discussions and group settings, two extremes sometimes emerge:
Those with strong interpersonal skills and a trusted personal and professional network seem to also know how to leverage their connections (when appropriate) for introductions and referrals.
Those with below average interpersonal skills sometimes accidentally give off a "slick salesman" vibe (trying too hard), an aura of apathy, or lack of interest in their own chosen field.
Don't worry. It's not all or nothing. Most of us probably fall somewhere on a trusted network continuum.
The good news. There's always room for improvement. Even for those with above average or stellar skills here.
We need people in our lives with whom we can be as open as possible. To have real conversations with people may seem like such a simple, obvious suggestion, but it involves courage and risk. --Thomas Moore
Practice. Practice Practice.
This week specifically:
Do the opposite of what you usually do
If you normally hang out outside until the meal, head to the kitchen to talk with those there (and offer to help!)
If you normally sit next to a favorite relative, but there's a new guest or someone you don't know well, try to grab a different seat
Think of a few easy (and short) questions to ask to get conversation started
If you are new to sales as a profession or your role specifically, don't expect referrals or agreement for business meetings
Focus on getting advice and guidance from those you know well
Be you, be genuine and authentic, and enjoy yourself!
Don't over-complicate this. Even one new meaningful conversation could be beneficial to you or the other person. Now or in the future.
Trust. Credibility. Rapport. Genuineness.
You've got this.
Now..time for some pie!