I attended the local Friday networking coffee this week. What I saw there prompted this post.
There were two different people there. They represented the same company. They were both well dressed and successful looking. They were neat and well-groomed. Both had information about their business and services and spoke well about what they could offer. And so I expected any leads that came from this meeting would be shared between the two of them, all things being equal. Not so. As I was leaving, I noticed several people clustered around one of the people. The other one was off to the side of the room - alone.
While I was driving home I thought about this. What made the one person more attractive and approachable than the other? Granted one was male and one was female. But that should not have made a difference. In fact if it did, it should have caused the opposite reaction. Because the male who was standing alone was HOT! And the woman who had drawn the crowd was just an ordinary middle-aged woman. And yet even I had to admit that if I was in the market for their services I would probably have approached the woman. I thought about it some more. Why? What was different about her? Then it hit me.
When the gentleman stood up to talk about his business, he presented all of the facts about his company and how he could be of service to us. He listed all the benefits of doing business with him and why we should contact him immediately. He was very serious and straightforward, passing out business cards and pamphlets about his company, dressed in his suit and tie and looking very polished and professional.
A little bit later it was the woman's turn. She stood up also. She was dressed in a simple suit and like her predecessor, had all of the facts and figures about her business to share with us. She also handed out business cards and pamphlets and acknowledged her fellow business person had already said just about everything there was to say about the company. And then she smiled. And it lit up her whole face. It was one of the most warm and welcoming smiles I've seen. It just drew you in. It made you feel like she really cared about your needs and wanted to get to know you better. And that, I think, was the difference. The gentleman had all the knowledge and ability that the woman had. But he never smiled. I never felt like he really connected with me and I'm guessing that none of the other networkers did either.
When I got home, I did some research on how smiling affects your business interactions and everything I found just validated what I was thinking.
The articles said that smiling raises your confidence. When you are looking for someone to do business with, don't you want someone who is confident in their abilities? Sure you do. A smile conveys that self-confidence without being arrogant. Another article said that smiling instantly makes you more attractive. Who doesn't want to be more attractive? Admit it, when someone is smiling, aren't you drawn in? Don't you enjoy that person's company more? Of course you do! We all do.
So my business advice for this week is very simple. SMILE! Go ahead. SMILE! I've read that you can't fake a smile so if you just do it, even when you don't feel like it, it's bound to change your attitude. And we just read that it will make you more confident and attractive. So do it again. SMILE! Doesn't that feel good? Now that you know how good smiling is for you and your business, I want you to practice smiling every day. In fact, one of the articles I read said that if you practice smiling and thinking positive thoughts or repeating affirmations at least six times a day, it will have a huge positive impact on your life. What are you waiting for? SMILE!