It really is a golden rule in business that beyond all the tasks you will perform, the ideas you will discuss, and the people you will work with, you will leave a lasting impression of who you are, and what the experience of working with you is like. Strive always to be a pleasure to work with and you will surely find repeat business and plenty of word-of-mouth referrals too.
An abrasive genius
We’ve all had the opportunity to work with that individual who is quite bright. They may be hard working, driven to solve problems and good at completing tasks. However the abrasive ones might complain, put down those who don’t understand them, discount others ideas because they are sure their own are best, and generally be a bit of a sore spot on the team.
Over time the individual isn’t appreciated, no matter how hard they work because people tend not to like them, find themselves begrudgingly working with the person, think of the interaction as “dealing” rather than working together and so on. This person becomes insecure despite their great knowledge, and expertise, primarily because people feel negatively towards them. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
An average miss sunshine
Just as we’ve all had the experience of working with the abrasive genius we may also have the experience of working with mister or miss sunshine. They seem to always bring spirits up in meetings, tend more toward the positive, have a way of critiquing without criticizing, asking questions without tearing apart what you’re saying, and always seem likeable.
In fact we may even have experienced folks who are somehow average or worse at their job, perhaps even mess things up from time to time, but everyone is very forgiving of them because they are so very likeable?
Their warm personality will take them far. It encourages teamwork, collaboration, and makes them more confident as well.
So what’s the take-away? Well, why not be both? Set your sites on being highly skilled, but a pleasure to work with. Jack of all trades, but down to earth and easy to communicate with, and therein lies a formula for success and a true golden rule in business.
Book Review: Jeffrey Gitomer – Little Red Book of Selling
In truth, anytime you’re communicating with someone about something new, or when you’re both not “aligned” ie in agreement about something, you’re doing sales. You’re selling your argument, idea or perspective. So to in professional services, whenever you are pitching your expertise, talking about experiences with past clients, and so on it is all about sales.
What I like about Gitomer’s book is that it offers very down-to-earth advice, in easy to digest morsels. This book is not about the web, or specific advice about how to succeed providing a particular type of service, but rather how to succeed with people, how to work with people, how to impress and convey, and win over people so they will trust you, work with you, and in the end buy your services.
An excellent read all around, and an eye-opener for any of us not schooled in sales and/or marketing.