Running a Successful Business is 90% Personality and 10% Talent
Last weekend I had 3 of my Southern California friends up to visit me and spend 30 crazy hours in Seattle ... these friends are also my clients and I have had the amazing pleasure of designing each of their websites. While they were here I realized that each one of them had something that I wanted to carry with me after our time working together .... that working together turned into liking them as people ... which turned into friendship. The fact that I like them and they like me created a little pod of not only admiration for each other, but also admiration for what each of us does for our businesses ... and I love how it all works together!
A few months ago I wrote a blog post called: Reasons Why Nobody is Hiring You ... it listed 8 reasons and a possible 9th why potential leads don't turn into hiring clients ... today I want to dive more into the possible 9th reason:
PEOPLE DON'T LIKE YOU
Look, we all are going to either be liked or not be liked by people who meet us ... it's just the way the cookie crumbles ... but I'm going to make a very bold statement and say this:
BUSINESS SUCCESS IS DIRECTLY LINKED TO WHETHER YOU ARE LIKABLE BY YOUR TARGET MARKET OR NOT
If you are an off-putting person then people who would be working closely with you are not going to want to spend their money on your services ... no matter how awesome you are! A talent that absolutely has to be present for a business owner to be successful is:
READING SOCIAL CUES
Let's take me for instance ... if I was just running the 'show of Heather' I would be loud ish, sarcastic, throwing f*ck and sh*t in as often as possible, saying crude things, and generally having ZERO filter whatsoever ... that's my 'I'm comfy with you and will be myself' self ... but OMG can you imagine if I just rolled with that all the time?? Oof, that would be a sh*tshow ... reading social cues, knowing when to soften up, when to listen and not talk, knowing when people like sarcasm or just want to play it serious, knowing when to turn on the mega professionalism or when I can be a little more casual ... all of ^^ that is SUPER IMPORTANT when dealing with people!! If you are unable to read social cues and make that your 'lead' in all things business, welp ... I'm sorry to say ... it's going to be a rough road!
BUT, HEATHER, I DON'T DEAL WITH PEOPLE ... MY EMPLOYEES DO
I'm so glad you brought that up!!! Ok, let's take that example and run with it ... let's say you are someone who may not be the best at reading social cues ... I truly believe that the way a business owner deals with employees and people in general is what sets the tone for the business as a whole. NOT IN ALL CASES ... but usually employees will look at and listen to their 'boss' to be the example of how the face of the business is to be shown.
For instance ... when my friends Darla, Kaylyn, and Amy were in town last weekend we went to a place in Seattle for dinner and drinks ... and holy sh*t was our server a crazy mean lady ... so much so that we wanted to leave, but couldn't because we had already placed our order ... she was condescending, rude, and treated us like we didn't matter in the least ... and we were VERY NICE to her!! But do I want to go back?? Nope. Here's the thing ... maybe their target market is people who like bitchiness ... it's totally possible ... or maybe their boss is an asshole who shows by example that being nice isn't important ... either way, they've lost a customer in me and I love their food and drinks!!
LET'S GET TO THE POINT
If you are aware that you are off-putting or are turning away more potential clients that you are bringing in, it may be time to assess whether or not you are likable ... especially if the business you are running is one you are SUPER EXCITED about and know you rock at! A few things below that I know are a turn off with clients:
- Talking about yourself nonstop and all the drama in your life
- Being overly yourself and knowing you have a big personality that is polarizing
- Getting into the 'personal space' of others when you are talking to them
Look, I'm not here to pick people apart ... so if you are killing it with getting hired, then just click out of here and ignore me ... but if you notice that when you are at networking or social events people always tend to make up excuses to leave the conversation, or if when you walk up to a group of people they look less than excited to have you there ... well, those are:
SOCIAL CUES THAT I WOULDN'T IGNORE
People and their impulsive responses won't lie ... we as people tend to give off hints even if we don't mean to ... the more you can practice paying attention to those and instead of blaming them for being mean turn to yourself and say: hmmmm, is there something I am doing that may be making them uncomfortable or making them not like me as a person?? << well, you may decide to work on yourself and be sensitive to how you are behaving.
I know with me I pay very close attention to the other person I am with ... I will decide what to say based on what their comfort level tends to be ... and if I realize I've gone too far I will instinctively back off ... one easy way to avoid being unlikable is to let your potential client lead the conversation and avoid jumping in with your own story after they have said their part ... or, if you do want to share a personal thing about yourself to bond with them:
KEEP IT VERY SHORT!!!!!
If your potential client tells you a story about their kids and you can relate then say something back like: OMG, my son did that the other day too!! << and that's it!! Don't go into your story with detail ... simply let them know that you 'get it' and bring it back to them ... if they ask you questions about your life don't take that as an opening to dive into a 10 minute long story about yourself ... keep your answers LIMITED and then always turn it back to them.
If you can learn to do this you will be successful because people will want to be around you :)