NETWORKERS BEWARE!- What your handshake says about you

 

Networkers Beware!

 More than just physical contact, a handshake conveys a wealth of psychological information.

We walk away from a handshake saying things like, “You know, I just felt really comfortable with her” or “I don’t know why, but I simply don’t trust that guy”.

 

Most people don’t spend time probing the depths of this unconscious communication; they just have a ‘feeling’ or a sense that their intuition is telling them something. However, there are things we can use in our sales effort by looking a little more closely at the experience.

Top 5 Handshakes and what they reveal about you or your client:

 

 1. Sweaty Palms – When a person is nervous their sympathetic nervous system often becomes overactive, sometimes resulting in sweaty palms. Do what you can to put this individual at ease.

2. Dead Fish– Indifferent handshakes that feel like the person has no bones in their hand often indicate a passive or reserved personality. This handshake ranks as the number two least favoured. Individuals with this type of clasp are generally not people-focused. Knowing this, you can tailor your conversation to de-emphasize the people aspect and focus more on the mechanical or thing focused benefits.

3. Brush off – This handshake type is a quick grasp and then a release that feels like your hand being shoved aside. This handshake is a statement of ‘it’s my turf and my agenda that matters, yours doesn’t’. Listen first to what the person wants before talking about your ideas for them.

4 Controller– You feel your hand being pulled toward the person or strongly guided in a different direction, perhaps towards a chair. People who do this are controllers. This means they want to dominate any inanimate or animate object in the room ( and that would include you). If your goals are different to theirs there may be challenges ahead. Do more listening than talking and see if you can find common ground so these individuals can control the situation toward your desired objective.

5. Politician– Your hand is firmly grasped as in a normal handshake. However, their other hand may cover yours or be placed on your forearm or shoulder. Unless the two of you are good friends, this is a form of false sincerity. The person is attempting to communicate that the two of you have a deeper relationship than you actually have. After receiving this kind of handshake, I recommend you check your pockets or purse to see if anything is missing. Similarly, be cautious about relying on this person’s word for anything and be attentive in your dealings with them. 

As in any sales situation, the more you know about your prospects and clients, the better you can communicate with them. So create a strong first impression by being aware of your own handshake and understand the hidden messages in your clients.

For professional, Impartial advice & Solutions contact me at Janette Whitney & Associates on 01403 733671 .Award Winning Business Consultants & Business Growth Specialists.

 

 

Business plan re-think for RBS

We all know we should have a business plan to guide our business along the route which we want to take and which will deliver the returns that we /the owners need over the medium term – at least 3 years.

Obviously Royal Bank of Scotland’s Chief Executive Stephen Hester forgot  to take account of market forces and undertake a robust S.W.O.T analysis before finalising his Business strategy as he is having to re think his Business plan for RBS only 8mths after it was formulated!

– But then this has been one of the problems which helped cause the Banking crisis – short term thinking and quick gains rather than looking at the longer term with prudent planning.

This article from the Guardian Newspaper  says it all.

What do you think as a small business, especially if you are trying to raise finance  for business development?  Comments please.

 

Contact me at Janette whitney & Associates, Business Consultants for professional  impartial  advice & solutions.

 

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Growing in the Recession

Which direction ?

Running a successful business in a recession requires an appreciation of two distinct roles, managing the day to day operations and building for the future. Every business person needs to know the importance of both ‘hats’- and when they are wearing each one.

Some companies do well, both in good times and bad. They not only withstand the onslaught of economic recession, but they emerge stronger and fitter. Unsurprisingly, they also make the right choices when economies are growing.

HOW DO THEY DO IT?

 Irrespective of the state of the economy, companies which regularly beat the competition have an ingrained ability to do two conflicting things at the same time. They run the day job effectively and efficiently and they make the right choices on how to grow. These require different, conflicting management styles: relentless detailed operational control, as well as having an eye for the main opportunity. Being great at both things is essential to long-term managed success.

Without clear growth management, companies often end up doing the urgent and forgetting the important. This is most true in a recession, when the extra focus on cash drives aggressive cost control and revenue chasing. But while there is a major focus on running the day job, successful companies also know how to build for the future.

Retaining an eye for the opportunity in the good times is relatively easy; keeping it when it gets tough is vastly more difficult.

Successful companies operate with two ‘hats’. One hat – the operational hat- focuses on delivering immediate needs, driving revenues, costs and margins to meet cash and profit targets. The focus is on the known- we know what the market is, what customers want, what competitors offer. The other hat – the strategic hat– focuses on growth, driving long term sustainable business that predicts and responds to customer trends and opportunities. Here the management style tends to be openness and analysis of opportunities.

Critically, running the day job and delivering sustainable growth requires that both these different styles of capability and approach co-exist in the same organisation. In essence a succesful business must be able to wear these 2 hats comfortably.

The challenge comes when you are a small business and you are the sole owner/director and have the skills & aptitude of one of the ‘hats’ but not necessarily the other- this is when the input of a professional adviser is vital to help give you the perspective of the other ‘hat’.

 Would your business benefit from a Professional  business review? Then contact me at Award Winning Business Consultants, Janette Whitney & Associates ,jw@whitneyassocs.co.uk

 

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How To Create The Network You Want

How strong is your network?

As the saying goes ‘it’s not what you know but who you know’ so how can you widen your network of contacts to create the network that is important to your business.

Here are 10 tips to help you create the network you want face to face.

 

1, Be alert for opportunities to meet new people

Everyone is connected. The typical person knows about 250 other people. Each time one new person feels they know, like and trust you; potentially another 250 people may also come too.

2, Be open to people knowing you

It’s not just about whom you know, it’s more about who knows you. Share something of yourself, allow people to get to know you. You will be more memorable.

3. Find new ways to meet people

It’s always easier to meet new people when you share an experience .Most schools & universities have alumni organisations containing people in a wide range of occupations. Whatever you do, there will be a relevant professional organisation where you can meet other people in your field. More importantly, get invitations to meetings held by institutes and trade bodies where your clients are.

4. Don’t be too choosy

Consider all invitations to events even if they don’t initially interest you. Such events can still often turn out to offer valuable networking opportunities and that is what you are there for. You never know who’s going to be there. If you have time, go along,

5. Carry distinctive business cards

Make sure you have plenty of business cards and don’t be shy about passing them out. Be distinctive. Have something about you (clothes, accessories, tie) that people will remember and associate with your card.

6. Follow up with personalised notes

Follow up meeting new contacts with a handwritten note saying how much you enjoyed meeting them. Takes a little longer than an email, but gives a really good impression and cements you in the person’s memory banks.

7. Create a brief ‘script’ you can use at events.

To stop you fumbling for answers when you meet new people, jot down your brief reply to ‘what you do’, what your company does, and what makes you and your company unique. Then practice it!!

8. Find out that you’re great

Think about all the people you know and identify one fan, a person who thinks you’re interesting or fun. Ask him or her to tell you what makes you good company. It will help you to feel less inhibited when talking to strangers. At least one person thinks you are great!

9. Show a genuine interest in people

Start by first listening to the other people. If nothing else, it helps you to relax. Ask them questions about themselves and really listen to the replies. Listen well, respond promptly, and maintain eye contact.

10. Keep a key people list

Make and maintain a list of everybody you know who has some relevance to your work. Use either a CRM software system or create your own excel spreadsheet/manual card system- whatever works best for you. Regularly (at least weekly) select one person for a ‘hello, how are you?’ call. Update your contact details with what you learn from meeting people.

For Professional & impartial business advice contact Janette Whitney at Award Winning Business Consultants, Janette Whitney & Associates on 01403 733671 or email jw@whitneyassocs.co.uk

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CAN YOU AFFORD TO LOSE CUSTOMERS?

   

Is this your Customer?

In the current tight trading climate , it is now more important than ever to hold on to your customers especially as a recent survey for T Mobile  has revealed that on average each lost customer costs small firms £4910 in lost profits.

 

The survey identified that a lack of responsiveness is viewed as the biggest cause of poor customer service. Key survey findings are:

  •  Each lost customer costs small businesses £4910
  • 37% state that a lack of responsiveness is to blame for poor customer service
  • 90% of small businesses aim to reply to customer calls and emails within 24 hours
  • Small business owners spend on average 37% of their time away from the office
  • Over a fifth of small businesses believe that mobile technology increases responsiveness by more than 50%

  

In the last 12 months, small companies have lost a least 4 customers each which could equate to c £20,000 in lost profits!

 

Even though the survey showed that 88% of business reply to customer emails and 93% return customer calls within 24 hours, with a third of businesses responding to customer complaints immediately – there is still a need to review speed of response to customers if businesses are to remain competitive and retain customers.

Evidence suggests that larger competitors are much quicker to respond to customers and this is a significant threat to small businesses. An immediate response to customers is obviously ideal, but at the very least small businesses should examine ways in which queries either via phone or email can be replied to within a maximum of one to three hours. (What would you expect if you were the customer?)

 As resources can be limited for small businesses it is important to consider how technology, especially internet enabled mobile devices, can be used to ensure that customer relationships are never jeopardised through a lack of responsiveness.

Superior Customer service is key for small businesses not only to compete more effectively with larger companies, but to thrive and prosper.

For professional & impartial business advice contact Janette Whitney  at Award Winning Business Consultants, Janette Whitney & Associates on 01403 733671

 

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How successful are your phone calls?

 Sales Success!! 

Making important telephone calls as opposed to a face to face conversation can be difficult and sometimes more unnerving. You can’t assess the other person eyeball to eyeball, you can’t see their body language and facial expressions, all of which makes it more difficult for you to gauge the success or otherwise of what you are trying to achieve.

 

 So here are 5 tips to help increase the odds in your favour:

1.      Get off on the right foot and ask if it’s a convenient time to talk.

 How often have you been in an interview with someone, the phone rings and they stop to pick it up? Yes, it’s rude and disrespectful to you and yet it’s the caller who gets the sharp ‘YES?’, as if it’s their fault!

So to ensure you don’t unnecessarily start off a phone conversation on a poor note, ask if it’s a good time talk. Give them the chance to say no. At least you have shown some consideration by giving him the opportunity to continue or not.

2.      Immediately build rapport.

 

To start immediately building rapport greet the person by their name. You are less likely to do this during a face to face meeting, but it’s essential during a phone conversation.

3. Keep the rapport going.

 

Keep the rapport going, by liberally using their name during the call and use it more frequently than you would normally do. Use of someone’s name replaces that feeling of closeness which comes naturally during a face to face meeting.

4. Smile with your voice.

 

Most people come across as plain bored when speaking on the phone, which again is a reaction to the lack of physical contact. Make a conscious effort to sound bright and breezy.

5. Finally, draw to a natural conclusion

 

Some people find it hard to finish a phone call, not wanting to interrupt the other person in full flow. Always try to lead the close by agreeing the next action –‘I will call you next week to discuss this point….’ AND most importantly stand up when you say your concluding phrase, as this naturally changes the tone of your voice which signals the end of the call without having to make excuses to hang up.

 Try these ideas next time you have an important phone call to make and see your success rate soar. Let me know how you get on.- all comments welcome

 

For professional & impartial business advice contact  Janette Whitney & Associates, Business Consultants on 01403 733671.

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Get the blood flowing!!

How many times have you sat at your desk and stared blankly at your computer screen- totally uninspired?

Well, us humans need to be more active than we are in todays lifestyles as I am sure you appreciate,Sitting down all day at a desk does nothing for our ability to be focussed on our jobs or motivation to be fantastic. We need to exercise- so take a break when you have read this and walk around a little.

When you sit back at your desk you will feel better and you will be more motivated towards your work. Movement gets the blood pumping around the body and therefore more oxygen to the brain. Try it.- it works.

So if you want inspired Business advice  or business growth strategies covering sales, marketing, finance, business development and more,  you have come to the right place. 

Contact us now for a free initial consultation on 01403 733671

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